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Chancellor’s Message

Issued via email at 2 p.m. Monday March 14.

To the University of Maine Community:

I want you to be among the first to know that I am recommending Dr. Paul Ferguson as President of the University of Maine.  I am making this recommendation to our Board of Trustees this afternoon and they will vote on this matter during their full board meeting which begins at 4:15 p.m.

Dr. Ferguson brings a successful track record of leadership positions at similar institutions and in moving universities forward in the areas that are of greatest importance to the University and the State—research, economic development, graduate studies, and enrollment.  He understands and embraces the University’s mission and is eager to work with the faculty and staff to move it to new levels of accomplishment.

Dr. Ferguson earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology at a land grant university. He worked in the industrial sector, published widely as a faculty member and served as the founding Dean of a Graduate School and as a Vice President for Research.  He is currently the Provost of a large comprehensive public university, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.  That University enrolls 14,000 students and offers over 100 degree programs, including 37 doctoral programs.  In each of his roles he brought about growth, academic progress, and increased quality.  I was pleased to learn that SIU-Edwardsville has been named by U.S. News and World Reports as one of the “up and coming institutions to watch for academic innovation.” It has experienced a 50% growth in applications in the past four years and is enjoying record enrollments at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

The search committee gave me several outstanding candidates and I am deeply appreciative for their excellent work under the guidance of Trustee Ellie Baker.  It was not an easy choice but I believe Dr. Ferguson will provide the experience, positive energy, and leadership that the University of Maine needs at this point in time.


Rich Pattenaude


Go Blue!
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469