University of Maine President Paul W. Ferguson has named Jeffrey E. Hecker as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost effective Sept. 1. Hecker is currently the dean of UMaine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He replaces Provost Susan Hunter, who was named vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Maine System.
President Ferguson commented that, “As we embarked upon the internal search to fill the impending provost vacancy, Jeff Hecker emerged as the definitive and consensus choice among the Cabinet, Provost’s Council, the Search Advisory Committee, and the majority of UMaine constituents who submitted nominations. Based upon his decades of dedicated and productive service on the UMaine faculty and as dean, Jeff will bring a remarkable blend of wisdom, experience and campus insights to his new role as provost. I am so pleased he will be joining the Cabinet, and I look forward to a very productive and enjoyable partnership.”
“The University of Maine has been my professional home for the past 27 years and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as provost of this great institution,” Hecker said. “I look forward to working closely with President Ferguson to realize the Blue Sky vision. This is an exciting period in the life of the university and I am thrilled to join the dynamic leadership team the president has assembled.”
Hecker received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UMaine in 1986 after earning the B.S. degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in liberal arts and sciences (psychology) from the University of Illinois. He joined the UMaine faculty in 1986 as director of the Psychological Services Center, the training clinic for UMaine’s doctoral program in clinical psychology.
Hecker is a clinical researcher whose work focuses on understanding and treating anxiety, and more recently on risk assessment for people who have committed sexual offenses, including adolescents. He is the author of two books and scores of journal articles and presentations. A licensed clinical psychologist, Hecker has extensive experience in providing research and clinical consultation to the Maine Department of Corrections, Division of Juvenile Services; and as a mental health consultant for the Penobscot Job Corps Center and Penquis CAP Head Start, both in Bangor.
He advanced through the academic ranks to professor of psychology, chairing the Department of Psychology from 2002–07. In 2007, he was named interim dean and, a year later, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Hecker has been honored during his distinguished service to the university, community and profession, with recognition including the 2006 University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for service and outreach, and the 1994 Maine Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Academic Contributions to Psychology.
President Ferguson has appointed Hecker to a two-year term. As the president presented to the UMaine Community in the call for nominations, this fixed-length provost appointment ensures continuity and efficiency in UMaine academic affairs operations. At the end of two years, a national search will be conducted, for which Hecker would be eligible to apply.
With the confirmation of his appointment, Hecker will begin to work with President Ferguson to fill several key administrative positions before the start of the fall 2013 semester. These three positions, all the result of retirements or reassignments, include the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, vice president for research, and associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies.