Chancellor steps down after stabilizing enrollment, finances

December 19, 2018

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — University of Maine System Chancellor James Page formally notified trustees Wednesday that he’s stepping down at the end of the academic year after stabilizing enrollment and finances over a tenure of seven years.

His decision came as trustees approved a proposal to expand the “one university” vision that created efficiencies, tailored programs to workforce needs, and reduced costs in a system with seven public universities and 30,000 students.

James Erwin, chairman of the University of Maine System, said Page and university presidents were able “to solve complex problems” without abandoning core principles.

“The reforms and momentum achieved during his tenure position Maine’s public universities for transformational state leadership,” Erwin said.

Page, who took office in 2012, oversaw a six-year tuition freeze, consolidated administrative functions and created annual savings of more than $80 million.

In a statement, he said it was a “tremendous public service opportunity” and a “great personal honor” to lead the system. The University of Maine System is now positioned for further investment, he said.

“The entire University community and our supporters across the state and beyond share in the success and standing we have achieved together,” he said.

Page was the first university system alumnus to serve as chancellor. A national search for his successor will be launched with a goal of appointing a new chancellor by the summer.

Page, 66, brought a unique perspective to the job.

He was CEO of Old Town-based James W. Sewall Company, a national consulting firm specializing in forestry, natural resources and civil engineering.

He also was a professor and holds degrees from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, St. Andrews University in Scotland, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins issued a statement Wednesday citing Page’s accomplishments.

“Delivering a high quality, affordable education to students has always been Jim’s number one priority,” she said. “He deserves credit and praise for his visionary leadership during a period of challenging demographics and economic constraints.”

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