PRESQUE ISLE, Maine - University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page announced today that he and the Board of Trustees have extended the appointment of Dr. Raymond J. Rice as Interim President of the University of Maine at Presque Isle through June 30, 2018. The extension will allow President Rice, in addition to his continuing duties as campus Provost, to ensure continuity and continued progress with the University’s strategic vision and direction.
“The University of Maine at Presque Isle under President Rice’s leadership is setting a strong example of how an unrelenting focus on student success and service make Maine’s public universities the state’s best and most responsive partner in shaping our shared future,” said James H. Page, Chancellor of the University of Maine System. “We have accomplished much but aspire for even more. The Board and I have every confidence that the University of Maine at Presque Isle will continue to be a vital partner in our shared success.”
“The faculty and staff at the University of Maine at Presque Isle are extending access to higher education and creating stronger pathways to advancement,” said Sam Collins, Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. “Dr. Rice has played an instrumental role in initiatives like the expansion of early college programming in area high schools and professional development partnerships with employers like MMG Insurance that are of great value to Aroostook County. The Board of Trustees is pleased to extend Dr. Rice’s appointment to maintain the strategic direction of the university and in recognition of the broad support for his leadership on campus and in the county.
Members of campus have also praised the decision to extend President Rice’s appointment.
“This is an important time of transition for us as a campus, and, across the board, there is strong support for President Rice to continue the work he’s doing to lead us forward and there’s a great sense of appreciation that he’s willing to keep doing it,” said Dr. Jacqui Lowman, Associate Professor, Professional Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Dr. Lowman also chairs the UMPI Faculty Assembly. “President Rice understands our campus, is extremely dedicated to it and has its best interests at heart. We feel incredibly lucky that he will be able to provide important leadership consistency for our campus through Spring 2018.”
President Rice took on the interim presidency in July, following the announcement that out-going UMPI President Linda Schott was chosen to lead Southern Oregon University. A member of the University of Maine at Presque Isle faculty for 19 years, his leadership roles on campus have included serving as Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences, and, since 2014, as Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
President Rice has been leading several important campus efforts, including the institution’s transition to personalized learning. UMPI has become a state and nationally recognized leader in this type of education and undertook this transformation to better serve incoming students and Maine’s public schools, which have been mandated by state law to begin issuing proficiency-based high school diplomas. As UMPI’s academic leader, Dr. Rice has directed the campus pedagogical, curricular, and assessment transition.
He also oversaw the establishment of the MMG Center for Professional Development—a new, state-of-the-art space devoted to the region’s professional and workforce development needs. President Rice and his team are also working to expand collaborative efforts with the University of Maine at Fort Kent and are developing deeper connections with area high schools through dual degree opportunities in order to build better pathways to college success and degree attainment.
“So much important work is underway at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and I am honored to continue leading the campus through this transitional time in order to see these efforts through,” President Rice said. “I will continue to work with our colleagues in Presque Isle and across the state to move our campus forward and best serve the people of Maine.”
Located in the heart of northern Maine, the University of Maine at Presque Isle was established in 1903 as a state teachers’ school. The University now offers a wide range of liberal arts and professional programs, as well as several programs that are offered completely online. UMPI is one of the seven universities within the University of Maine System.