MACHIAS, Maine — The University of Maine at Machias has selected one of its officials to hold the top role at the school after it becomes a regional campus of the state’s flagship university.

Kay Kimball will serve as executive dean and chief of academic operations at UMM when the campus’ new leadership structure becomes official on July 1, the university announced Wednesday.

Kimball is the campus’ interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. When she takes her new post, she’ll report directly to University of Maine President Sue Hunter. The UMM presidency will no longer exist, but Kimball will serve as the campus figurehead.

Dan Qualls, UMM associate professor of education, coordinator of the education program and chairman of the Professional Studies Division, will also take on a new leadership role as director of academic support services and community outreach.

The university announced the new leadership team in a news release Wednesday.

“I look forward to working closely with Kay and Dan to ensure the stability and success of the Machias campus and its mission in Down East Maine,” Hunter said in the release.

The system’s plan for the future of UMM has been in the works for the better part of two years in response to a prolonged decline in enrollment and financial security at the Machias university. The Machias campus will partner with the University of Maine in Orono, becoming a regional campus of its much larger peer.

The current president of the Machias campus, Sue Huseman, who came out of retirement to lead the campus through the partnership planning, will return to retirement.

“This partnership offers increased opportunities for students, faculty and staff of both campuses, as well as unique opportunities for UMM to grow and thrive,” Huseman said Wednesday.

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