A candidate for the University of Southern Maine presidency has dropped out, leaving two finalists for the job, university officials said Friday.

Former pharmaceutical executive Jose Sartarelli, the chief global officer and dean of the business school at West Virginia University, withdrew his name because he didn’t think it was “a good fit” for him, according to University of Maine System Trustee Jim Erwin, who led the presidential search.

The final candidates are Glenn Cummings, interim president of the University of Maine at Augusta, and Harvey Kesselman, provost and executive vice president at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Erwin said the presidential search committee met with Chancellor James Page on Tuesday to give him their assessment of the pros and cons on each candidate. The 18-member committee did not offer a recommendation, Erwin said.

Page is expected to make his choice in March, and after the trustees approve, a new president should be in place in July.

Erwin said there were 80 applicants considered during the search, and eight were interviewed in person before they selected the three finalists. Erwin said that in addition to interviewing the candidates, they weighed the feedback on a website that generated about 40 to 60 comments for each finalist.


The large pool “allowed us to narrow down to some very good candidates,” Erwin said. “Either (of the finalists) would have a very good chance of being successful.”

Cummings, former speaker of the Maine House, already has ties to USM as an assistant professor teaching educational leadership. Before being named interim president of UMaine Augusta in September, he was president and executive director of Good Will-Hinckley and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in Hinckley, one of the first charter schools in the state.

Cummings also served under President Barack Obama as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education. During his tenure in the Maine House of Representatives, he also chaired the Joint Committee of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Kesselman previously served in several roles at Richard Stockton College, including dean and professor of education, interim vice president for administration and finance, special assistant to the president and vice president for student affairs.

Kesselman serves on the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority and the Educational Testing Service’s Higher Education Advisory Council. He also was recently named to the inaugural board of trustees of the American Council on Education’s newly formed Association of Chief Academic Officers.

Staff Writer Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

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