Search for the Twenty-First President

Finalist Interviews

The University of Maine Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce that four finalists for the position of President will visit both the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias campuses over the next several weeks. The search has been underway since September conducted by a collaborative search committee comprised of eighteen members representing Trustees, faculty, students, staff, and representatives of the Board of Visitors and community.

The search committee reviewed 65 candidates and selected twelve for initial interviews. Of these twelve, four highly qualified candidates have been selected to visit both campuses. 

Each candidate will visit the University of Maine for two days, including a visit to the University of Maine at Machias. All members of the university community are invited to attend open sessions (described below). Candidates will also meet with smaller groups of faculty, students, university leaders, and members of the Board of Visitors, Alumni Association and Foundation.

February 20 and 21

Dr. Nancy Targett is Provost of the University of New Hampshire, where she has served since 2016. She previously served at the University of Delaware from 1984 to 2016, including roles as Acting President; Dean of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; Director of the Sea Grant College Program, Associate Dean, Program Director of Marine Biology- Biochemistry; and faculty member. Dr. Targett holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Maine.

February 22 and 23

Dr. Sally Reis served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Connecticut from 2011 to 2017. She holds the Letitia Neag Morgan Endowed Chair in Educational Psychology and is a Board of Trustees distinguished professor at the University of Connecticut. She was Department Head of the Educational Psychology program from 2000 to 2006. Dr. Reis holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

February 26 and 27

Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy is currently Chief Operating Officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has been at NSF since 2007 serving in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources in roles including Assistant Director from 2011 to January 2017. Prior to her work at NSF, Dr. Ferrini-Mundy held academic and leadership positions at Michigan State University and the University of New Hampshire. She earned a PH.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of New Hampshire.

March 1 and 2

Dr. Amit Chakma is currently President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, a position he has held since 2009. He is also Professor of Chemical Engineering at Western. He was previously Academic Vice President and Provost at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, from 2001 to 2009. Dr. Chakma earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Each candidate will participate in three open sessions for faculty, students, staff and community members. Two open sessions will be held at the Orono campus and one at the University of Maine at Machias. These events will include a brief introduction by the candidate followed by a question and answer session.

Feedback will be collected through online surveys which will be open until 11:59 pm on Sunday March 4.

For more detailed information or questions please contact Tracy Bigney, at bigney@maine.edu.


The University of Maine, the flagship campus of the University of Maine System, is the state’s land grant and sea grant institution. Every year, the University of Maine graduates more students than any other institution in the state. And those students are prepared to succeed. The University of Maine’s mission is to provide teaching, research and economic development, and engagement that serve the state –and beyond.

For more than 150 years, UMaine has had a leadership role in the state. Because Maine’s potential is our purpose, UMaine serves as the state’s major research institution and a cultural hub, linking our resources with the needs of industries and businesses, schools, cultural organizations, state government and communities.

A search for the twenty-first President of the University of Maine was launched by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees in July 2017.

The University of Maine seeks a President with the experience, entrepreneurialism, and energy to lead a flagship land and sea grant institution within a large and dynamic public higher education system. The President will lead the University in a collaborative and effective manner with enthusiasm, sincerity, integrity, curiosity, and humility.

Students at UMaine Black Bears hockey game
For more than 150 years, UMaine has had a leadership role in the state, and is Maine's research and cultural hub.