Andrew Egan Credit: Penn State Greater Allegheny | University of Maine

The University of Maine at Machias has selected its new head of campus, who will work alongside the president of the flagship campus to stabilize and grow Down East Maine’s formerly faltering university.

Andrew Egan, former chancellor for Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, has been tapped to take the role of vice president for academic affairs and head of campus at the University of Maine at Machias. He’s scheduled to start his new job in August.

Egan is currently in Liberia, finishing a yearlong Peace Corps forestry training assignment. He has a 20-year history in higher education in the U.S. and Canada, with the Greater Allegheny post being his most recent. He also earned a doctorate in forest resources at Penn State.

He has ties to Maine. From 1998 to 2004, he was an associate professor of forest resources and program coordinator in forest engineering at UMaine. Egan was named one of four national finalists for the job in November. The university vetted more than 100 applications.

He’ll work under the direction of the president of the University of Maine in Orono, the flagship of the seven-campus University of Maine System. UMaine announced the hire in a Wednesday news release.

“We are committed to getting UMM on a sustainable path that ensures its future as an educational, cultural, economic and financial hub of the Down East region it serves,” UMaine President Susan Hunter said.

In a partnership that took effect last summer, Machias, the system’s smallest campus, effectively became a regional campus of the Orono flagship, which took over the bulk of the administrative responsibility for UMM.

In 2016, Machias’ enrollment had plunged to 745 students, a 20 percent decline in five years, prompting intervention by system officials. At its height, Machias served about 1,300 students. The institution also was plagued by cuts and budget deficits, forcing system officials to dip into UMS reserves to keep the Machias campus going.

System officials hope the the partnership with UMaine will provide stability, strengthen UMM’s offerings and make it a more attractive option for students.

Hunter is expected to retire later this year, and the university system is in the midst of its search for the person who will take her place. She agreed to delay her retirement previously after the system asked her to stay on and help vacancies and lead Orono and Machias through their partnership transition.

The search for Hunter’s replacement, who also will serve as president of both the Orono and Machias campuses, launched in July 2017.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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