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Former Connecticut Gov. Malloy to serve as UMS chancellor - May. 30, 2019

Former Connecticut Gov. Malloy to serve as UMS chancellor

ORONO, Maine (AP) — University of Maine System trustees appointed former Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday to serve as the next chancellor of the seven-campus system with a mandate to continue rapid changes launched by his predecessor.

Malloy, 63, is committed to taking on "complex change initiatives" and to expediting "One University" reforms undertaken by Chancellor James Page, who worked to cut costs and match university programs with workforce needs, Board of Trustees Chairman James Erwin said.

Malloy, who served two terms as governor of Connecticut, said in a statement that it's important to "act with urgency" to address workforce challenges in Maine, which has the nation's oldest population.

"My time in electoral politics is over, but I am still passionate about providing public service leadership that matters," said Malloy, who will oversee seven universities with 30,000 students.

Page, who retires on June 30, notified trustees in December that he's stepping down at the end of the academic year after stabilizing enrollment and finances over a tenure of seven years.

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

Malloy's appointment marks the second consecutive time trustees looked to a leader without a traditional career in education.

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

As Connecticut governor, Malloy was credited with reducing the size of state government, replenishing the state rainy day fund, boosting state pension funding and securing agreements with labor unions.

He also created the Board of Regents for Higher Education, bringing 17 community colleges and state universities under one umbrella, and expanded the flagship University of Connecticut.

Erwin, the trustees' chairman, said Malloy's willingness to effect change is important as the University of Maine System continues to adapt.

"As governor he delivered reforms and structural changes to state government that were not always popular, and certainly not expedient, but that advanced the long term interest of his state and its citizens," Erwin said.

Malloy will oversee the University of Maine, the University of Southern Maine, and campuses in Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Farmington, Augusta and Machias.