Michael Laliberte, the new president of the University of Maine at Augusta. Credit: Courtesy of the University of Maine System

A man with decades of experience leading higher education institutions has been selected to be the next president of the University of Maine at Augusta.

Michael Laliberte will serve as the next president of the state’s third largest public university after the University of Maine System’s board of trustees unanimously approved Laliberte’s appointment on March 28.

Laliberte’s first day will be Aug. 1 and he has signed a three-year contract.

Laliberte has served as president of the State University of New York at Delhi since 2016. During his tenure, he added 19 new degree programs to address local and state workforce needs, launched initiatives to improve student success, grew philanthropic giving and oversaw $42 million in capital projects, according to the university system, which announced Laliberte’s appointment on Thursday.

Before his time at SUNY, Laliberte was the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee from 2010 to 2016. He held a similar role at Boise State University from 2006 to 2010.

Laliberte was raised in Rhode Island and has a doctoral degree in educational leadership in higher education from Johnson & Wales University, a master’s degree in college student development and counseling from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in human development, counseling and family studies from the University of Rhode Island.

University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy said Laliberte shares a common trait among UMA students: He was the first in his family to attend college.

Malloy said Laliberte “has the right combination of executive leadership, student affairs, and enrollment management experience.”

Laliberte was appointed after the system conducted a nationwide search to fill the position. Rebecca Wyke, who had been the president of the university since 2015 stepped down in 2021 to become the CEO of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.

UMA Provost Joe Szakas has served as interim president since August 2021.

The university has two main campuses in Augusta and Bangor along with a host of smaller centers in Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, Lewiston, Rockland, Rumford and Saco.

More than half of UMA’s students are 25 or older, and UMA employs 470 people. It enrolls about 3,100 students and more than 450 Maine high school students through its early college program.

A new president for the University of Southern Maine and an interim president for the University of Maine at Farmington, both of whose leaders are departing, are expected to be announced before June 30.

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...