A building on University of Maine at Augusta's campus. Credit: Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The current provost at the University of Maine at Augusta will be temporarily filling the president’s position as the University of Maine System searches for someone to permanently take over the position.

Joseph Szakas, who is the current vice president of academic affairs and provost, will seek approval from the UMS board of trustees later this month to temporarily take over the position that was left after President Rebecca Wyke announced that she would be stepping down to work with the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, according to UMS spokesperson Dan Demeritt. 

Szakas has worked with the university since the fall of 2000, and was appointed to his current position in May of 2011. He has not been picked as a potential candidate for the permanent president position, and will continue to serve as the vice president for academic affairs and provost. 

The UMS will continue to look for a candidate to nominate as the next president for the university, which is the third largest university within the system. 

While the search for a new president is underway, the UMS and UMaine at Augusta will continue to move forward with plans to implement unified accreditation resources, which were approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education in June of 2020. 

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.