New Guard at University of Southern Maine, Two Maine Community Colleges

By John O. Harney

Comings and Goings …

Jacqueline Edmonson

The University of Maine System selected Jacqueline Edmonson, the currrent chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny, a mostly commuter college near Pittsburgh, as the 18th president of the University of Southern Maine, also a mostly commuter college. She’ll succeed Glenn Cummings, who served as president for seven years and announced his resignation last October. The system has been in the news, as University of Farmington students protested the system’s decision to cut nine faculty positions in the social studies and humanities departments, and faculty have objected to a lack of transparency in presidential searches and the system’s novel effort to unify the joint accreditation of all seven university in the systems, rather than individually.

Maine’s Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) named Acting President Karen Normandin to the permanent job, effective June 1. Normandin has worked at KVCC for more than 30 years in posts ranging from vice president of student affairs, enrollment, marketing and recruitment to director of TRIO student support services. She was named the interim leader in May 2021.

Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) named Liz Russell as president, effective June 1. Russell is currently vice president of academic affairs at EMCC, where she has held key posts since 1994, including dean of student affairs, dean of student success and associate dean of enrollment management.

New England College President Michele Perkins announced that in September she will become chancellor of the Henniker, N.H.-based college that she has led for 15 years. The college’s chief academic officer and provost, Wayne Lesperance Jr., will become interim president. Perkins, a NEBHE delegate, has written for NEJHE on the future of small private colleges.

Fitchburg State University appointed Massachusetts Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Student Success Patricia A. Marshall as the institution’s next provost and vice president for academic affairs, succeeding Alberto Cardelle, who left last year to become president of SUNY Oneonta. A NEBHE delegate, Marshall coauthored a NEJHE piece on open education in Massachusetts.

Katie Allan Zobel announced she will step down as president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, after a decade leading the foundation that serves Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties. Among accomplishments during her tenure, the foundation boosted research on college completion and expanded funding for local colleges and universities through its Western MA Completes initiative.

The town of Amherst, Mass., named Pamela Nolan Young, an attorney who administered Smith College’s affirmative action plan and was Notre Dame University’s first director of academic diversity and inclusion, to be the town’s first director of diversity, equity and inclusion. The town has also opened a new department called Community Responders for Equity, Safety and Service, which will send responders to certain emergency calls.

Boston Globe higher education reporter Laura Krantz, who also worked for VTDigger in Vermont and the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., announced that she will leave the Globe to become subscriber products editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Passings …

Ralph Whitehead, a noted journalist, journalism professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for more than 40 years and member of the NEJHE Editorial Advisory Board, died at age 78. A natural mentor to students and fellow writers, his articles for NEJHE (and its predecessor Connection) included An Educated Audience, a look at the journal’s decision to move from print to web as well as stories on New England economic development.




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