Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson, the new president of the University of Southern Maine. Credit: Courtesy University of Maine System

The leader of a campus in Pennsylvania’s state university system will become the next president of the University of Southern Maine.

Jacqueline Edmondson will become the 18th president of the University of Maine system’s second-largest institution on July 1, replacing Glenn Cummings. The University of Southern Maine has campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston and enrolls more than 6,000 students.

Edmondson joins the university after leading Penn State Greater Allegheny, a regional campus of Pennsylvania State University, since 2017. The University of Maine System announced her appointment Monday.

Edmondson is the third new leader of a University of Maine System campus to be announced this spring. Her appointment also follows two votes of no confidence in Edmondson’s new boss, system Chancellor Dannel Malloy, through which professors have objected to the appointment of both of those new campus leaders.

In addition to Edmondson, new university leaders who will be present for the next academic year are Michael Laliberte at the University of Maine at Augusta and Joseph McDonnell at the University of Maine at Farmington, who will serve as an interim president of that campus.

The faculty senates at UMA and USM have cast votes of no confidence in Malloy’s leadership since news reports revealed that professors and students at Laliberte’s present institution, the State University of New York at Delhi, had cast votes of no confidence in his leadership within the past year.

Malloy and the chair of the search process for UMA’s new president were aware but never informed the rest of the search committee, which both have since said they regret.

At USM, the faculty senate objected to the process leading to Laliberte’s appointment, but also objected to the appointment of McDonnell in Farmington without a search process and recent faculty layoffs at that campus.

Despite those objections, faculty at USM are pleased with how the search unfolded at their institution, said Lydia Savage, president of USM’s faculty union chapter and a professor of geography.

“We are sad to lose Glenn Cummings but I am pleased to welcome our new president,” Savage said.”Unlike the flawed UMA search and the interim appointment at UMF with no search or faculty consultation, USM had a robust and open presidential search.”

While at Penn State, Edmondson launched eight new degree programs in response to regional workforce and student needs similar to popular programs at USM, according to the University of Maine System.

Edmondson earned her undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees at Penn State, where she was a first-generation college student.

“USM is a wonderful institution that is well positioned for an even greater future,” Edmondson said.

Malloy described Edmonson as a dynamic education leader.

“I am confident that, as our search committee quickly understood, USM and the broader community will soon know that she has the unique qualifications and characteristics to build on the progress realized under President Cummings to take USM as an essential educational, economic and cultural asset to even greater heights in its service to our students, System and the state,” Malloy said.

Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...