The University of Maine at Augusta got a visit from the state university system’s new leader Tuesday afternoon.

Dannel Malloy, who took over the role of chancellor of the University of Maine System on July 1, is planning to tour all of the system’s campuses by the end of the month.

New University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy speaks on Tuesday during a tour at the University of Maine at Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

Malloy said his time in the job is “going very well” after about 24 days. He has been working on the transition since James Page’s retirement from the post in June.

On Tuesday, joined by UMA President Rebecca Wyke, Malloy met with university officials and the community, as well as administrators from the aviation department. They, along with a student, demonstrated the university’s flight simulator as well as showed the unmanned flight program for drones, which has graduated about 200 students.

Malloy said he wants the seven campuses and centers to be looked at as one university, rather than being separated. He said he understands that different groups of students have different needs, but as a whole, the university should be undivided.

The system has about 30,000 students in it, and UMA has about 6,000 students, which makes it the third-biggest campus by student population within the system.

Malloy said about 50% of students on the Augusta campus are nontraditional students, who are students over the age of 25 or students who are returning to school to finish their degrees. Malloy said those students are as important as traditional students, but they might have different needs than a traditional student does.

Tuesday’s visit was Malloy’s third to the Augusta campus. After his appointment was announced in May, he met with veteran students, and he was also at the celebration of UMA’s 30-year anniversary of distance learning.

“Meeting my new colleagues, learning how our institutions serve our students, and assessing the facility needs and planned investments of our campuses is a top priority,” Malloy said in a news release.

In the 2020 fiscal year, UMA expects to develop plans to invest in its facilities. Malloy was briefed Tuesday on how those plans will focus on meeting the needs of the institution.

Malloy, who served two terms as governor of Connecticut from 2011 to 2018, said going into education was a “natural extension” because he had worked in education previously. As governor, he supported the University of Connecticut with $2.3 billion in investments to advance the bioscience and STEM fields.

“I’ve been involved in education, other than being a student, in one way or another,” Malloy said.

He is currently the Rappaport Distinguished Visiting Professor at Boston College Law School, which he attended for his bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology as well as a degree from Boston College Law School. He also taught political science classes for 12 semesters at the University of Connecticut, where he was an adjunct professor.

He will earn $350,000 per year during his three-year contract; Page earned $277,500.

 


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