Northern Maine institutions seek to build stronger partnerships and Maine career pathways among public schools, universities, and regional employers
FORT KENT and PRESQUE ISLE—As part of efforts focused around strategic collaborations, officials with Northern Maine’s two public universities have announced the joint appointment of Jason Towers as Executive Director of Enrollment Management for the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
This newly created joint position will strengthen opportunities to work across both institutions–and with public schools, parents, and employers–to create programs, services, and pathways that keep students in the region and on a path to a Maine career.
“This is fantastic news for both of our institutions, for heightened UMFK and UMPI collaboration, and for helping both institutions move forward,” UMFK President John Short said. “We are expanding our nursing program to UMPI to build capacity in response to the state’s critical need for healthcare professionals. Coordinating enrollment functions across the campuses ensures that we best leverage this new nursing education capacity to help overcome Maine’s nursing cliff.”
In this shared position, Towers will direct the strategic enrollment activities of both campuses and report directly to the presidents of each institution. He will provide oversight and leadership for all enrollment functions and work with enrollment personnel and senior leaders to establish relevant goals as well as the strategies and actions to achieve these goals. He will split his time equally between campuses.
“Our new Executive Director of Enrollment Management will be a key player in the work we’re doing to better match available programs across the two institutions to best meet the needs and goals of students, from Early College efforts to enrollment in the right program to retention and persistence efforts that increase the number of graduates ready to join the workforce with an affordable, career-ready Maine degree,” UMPI President Ray Rice said. “We are so pleased to be welcoming Jason Towers to northern Maine to help lead these efforts.”
Towers has been with American National University for the past 17 years, serving as its Executive Vice President of Campus Operations for the last three years. In this role, he oversaw 20 campus locations as well as the university’s online division. He previously served as ANU’s Executive Director of Campus Support Services and Director of Institutional Development.
Towers earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his Bachelor’s degree from Houghton College in New York.
Towers grew up in a small town north of Albany, New York, and has spent most of his life in the state. He and his wife Cristy love the northern climate and chose to raise their boys in rural settings.
“We all enjoy winter activities and are excited to move to an area with such friendly, compassionate people,” Towers said. “This is a new position for both universities, which affords us the ability to chart a new path together. I see enormous potential for collaboration, strategic planning, and growth with an exceptional group of leaders.”
The University of Maine System is providing the initial investment in the enrollment management position as part of its One University effort to increase collaboration among Maine’s public universities and to help build a stronger and better integrated system of public education that functions as a true continuum of learning for students and a responsive partner in meeting Maine’s workforce development needs.
“The Universities of Maine at Fort Kent and Presque Isle are improving coordination to provide northern Maine with affordable access to the services and academic programs needed across the region,” James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System, said. “Coordinating enrollment management between the campuses expands opportunities for students and will help build stronger Maine career pathways and partnerships among our local schools, our public universities, and employers.”
Towers will begin work on June 1, 2018.