PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A panel charged with finding a new president for the University of Maine at Presque Isle named the three finalists on Tuesday. The candidates will begin visiting the northern Maine campus, which serves about 1,500 students, next week.

The 13-member committee, which has been working on the national search for several months, on Tuesday named:

• Jon Connolly, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs at Sheridan and Gillette Colleges in Sheridan, Wyo. He will visit UMPI March 13-14.

• Linda Schott, Ph.D., dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. She will visit March 22-23.

• Michael Sonntag, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. His visit is scheduled for March 20-21.

“Of utmost importance to the search committee is to identify candidates that understand the needs and mission of a rural university and how it fulfills many roles in the community,” said Samuel W. Collins of Caribou, a University of Maine System trustee and chairman of the search committee. “In addition to serving as an educational hub, UMPI also contributes greatly to the cultural and economic vibrancy of Aroostook County.”

During their scheduled visits, the candidates will meet with students, faculty, staff, administration, community leaders, alumni and others.
Collins said the forums will give people a chance to provide valuable feedback to the search committee about who they see as best suited to lead UMPI.

The search committee includes members of the University of Maine System board of trustees, as well as UMPI faculty, staff, students and community members. After the visits, the committee will review all feedback and present its impressions on each candidate to the University of Maine System chancellor. One candidate will be recommended to the full UMS board of trustees for approval. The new president is expected to start this summer.

Last year President Donald N. Zillman, who has served as UMPI’s president since 2006, announced that he will step down after this year’s commencement. He will return to his position as a tenured professor of law at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland.

Complete information about the candidates, including itineraries for their visits, may be found at www. umpi .edu/presidential-search.