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USM taps Penn State administrator as next president

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University of Maine System
USM President Jacqueline Edmondson

A Penn State University administrator will be the 18th president of the University of Southern Maine.

University of Maine system officials announced Jacqueline Edmondson as the next USM president Monday afternoon.

Edmondson has been the chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Greater Allegheny, a regional campus at Penn State University with about 400 students, for the last five years.

She replaces Glenn Cummings, who's leaving USM after seven years.

"I understand I am following a well-loved president, and I want to thank President Cummings, who is graciously passing the baton to me," Edmondson said during a speech on the USM campus in Portland. "It is wonderful to have this opportunity to lead an institution that is really on the rise."

The announcement comes days after the USM faculty senate voted no-confidence in University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy, partly in response to his handling of the selection process for a new president at the University of Maine at Augusta.

USM faculty have also expressed concerns with recent efforts to shift authority away from USM and other individual campuses.

Malloy didn't acknowledge those criticisms directly but says each institution has a role to play within the UMaine system.

"When I think about this system I think in terms of a constellation, where we have planets and stars of different size and different context, different atmospheres, if you will," he said. "But I also think of it as a place where no one should be allowed to affect the light of another or make one smaller or one larger at a deficit to the other. I truly believe that each of our universities has a great future, and this university — because of the leadership and because of the investments — has a great future ahead of it."

Edmondson has also been an education professor and associate dean for Penn State University's College of Education. She begins the new job July 1.