BANGOR — A search committee has named its three finalists to become the next head of Maine’s seven universities.

The three candidates in the running to become chancellor of the University of Maine System will make campus visits between Jan. 17 and 20, officials said Wednesday.

The finalists are Meredith Hay, a special adviser to the chair of the Arizona Board of Regents for Strategic Initiatives; James Page, CEO of the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town; and Rebecca Wyke, the vice chancellor for finance and administration at the University of Maine System.

The University of Maine System board of trustees expects to announce its selection at its March meeting. Chancellor Richard Pattenaude, who has served since 2007, is planning to retire by the end of June.

“Our universities are facing unprecedented economic and demographic challenges,” Gregory Johnson, co-chairman of the search committee and a member of the UMS Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “These candidates offer the right type of expertise and present innovative ideas on how we can reshape the future of higher education to best meet the needs of Maine.”

The University of Maine System’s seven universities have an enrollment of nearly 41,000 students.

For the selection process, the finalists will meet with faculty, staff and students at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, the University of Maine in Orono and the University of Maine at Fort Kent, as well as the university system’s offices in Bangor.

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