Office of the President

Presidential Search News & Updates

An aerial image of the Abromson Center and Bedford Street

Dear USM Community,

I am pleased to let you know that the search for USM’s next president is gearing up.  This memo is to give you an update on the current status of the search and to give you information about how to stay up-to-date on the search’s progress.

The primary tool for communicating about the search is the search website. On the website you will find a list of committee members, a broad timeline, notes of committee meetings as they occur, and the position profile when it is completed.  There is a link on the website to a survey asking for input about USM priorities for the future.  Please take the opportunity to respond to this survey that will help shape the search process.  The survey will be open until January 7, 2022.

I am serving as Chair of the Search Committee.  Other Board of Trustees members on the committee are Lisa Eames and Roger Katz.  The full committee includes 17 members representing faculty, students, staff, the Board of Visitors, alumni, and community.  Many members of the committee were named by the university constituencies that they represent.  Our first meeting will be in mid-December.

The USM Presidential Search Committee will work in active concert with the Academic Search Senior Consultants to conduct a thorough, inclusive, equitable, and orderly search process.  Presidential searches typically involve a balance of planning and flexibility, as well as confidentiality (for the candidates) and transparency (for the campus). We are sharing our current expectations on process and timing, which we will assess and, if needed, adapt over time, in consultation with the search committee, to ensure that we are able to attract and retain the highest caliber candidates through the conclusion of the search. Any material changes will be posted to the search website, and will be communicated directly to USM constituents as needed.

Please note that meetings of the Presidential Search Committee are subject to the Maine Freedom of Access Act (“Open Meetings”) law, and will be noticed in advance on the UMS Board website. Discussions of individual candidates may be held in executive session, and the details of the process will generally be confidential, until we determine how to organize final interviews to balance any interest our preferred candidates express for confidentiality with the needs of the USM community and its broad constituencies to participate in the final interview process.

The following are the principal activities and currently expected time frames for the presidential search:


Approximate Time Frame

Due Diligence; Listening Sessions; Initial Meeting of Search Committee

Nov. 29-Dec. 16

Recruitment (by Academic Search)

December-January-early February

Review of applications; selection; initial interviews (by Search Committee)

February 2022

Finalist Interviews with campus representatives

March 3-11, 2022

Board of Trustees authorizes contract negotiations with recommended candidate

March 27-28, 2022

New USM President publicly introduced

Early to mid April 2022

While much of the search activity will be confidential, the committee will issue periodic reports of our process that will be posted on the website.

I would like to express in advance my sincere thanks to all committee members for their commitment to USM, and to all members of the community who take the time to participate in the survey and the final interviews next spring. I look forward to a successful search to find the next leader of USM.


James Erwin
Search Committee Chair
Board of Trustees member

USM Presidential Search Committee

Thursday, December 16. 2021 from 2-5 PM

Physical Location: TBD

Zoom Information:


  • Presidential Search
  • Search Committee
  • Position Prospectus
  • Town Hall Meetings