Dr. Deborah Hedeen. Credit: Courtesy of University of Maine System

The University of Maine at Fort Kent will soon have a new leader in Deborah Heeden, Ph.D., who will take over as president/provost beginning on July 1.

Hedeen currently serves as provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Montana Western, where she previously served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. She also has served as dean at the College of Education at Idaho State University where she was also assistant dean of teacher education.

“I am so thrilled and honored to have been selected to serve as the next president of the University of Maine at Fort Kent,” Hedeen said. “The faculty, staff and students are so proud of this university, its history and the programs and services that make UMFK a premier rural university. I am impressed, inspired and ready to get to work on campus and across the University of Maine System to continue building on the strength and reputation of UMFK.”

University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy named Hedeen to the position after the presidential search committee presented her as one of four finalists. The other finalists were Northern Maine Community College President Tim Crowley; Kenneth Newbold, Ph.D., who most recently served as provost and executive vice president at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana; and David J. Harris J.D., dean of the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

As a first-generation college student, Hedeen understands the importance of a student-centered campus community, Malloy said.

Hedeen has a doctorate in special education from Syracuse University, a master’s in education from Lesley University and a Bachelor of Science in special education and Spanish from St. Cloud State University.

She has published journal articles and book chapters related to positive behavior supports and educational strategies for students with autism.

“Our commitment to our rural communities and campuses is student-focused and mission-driven,” Malloy said. “Dr. Hedeen understands the importance of strengthening access to education across all regions of Maine and that we have to work together to get the job done for our students. She impressed us all in her visit this winter and it is a pleasure to welcome Deb to UMFK and the University of Maine System leadership team.”

The university’s Presidential Search Committee began its work last September under the leadership of search chairperson Kelly Martin, a Fort Kent resident and vice chairperson of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.

Tex Boggs, Ph.D., has served as interim president/provost at the university since John N. Short resigned last year.