Theodora Kalikow will be stepping down from her presidency at USM in ten days, according to a press release sent by Dan Demerit, the director of public affairs for the University of Maine System.
Kalikow will work throughout the remainder of her existing employment contract as an acting vice chancellor at the system-level and will be undertaking a system-wide ‘community engagement initiative’ through the June 30, 2015. She will also be working in the academic affairs portfolio in the system-level office.
“Community engagement is close to my heart,” said Kalikow in a brief statement emailed to USM faculty and staff. “I believe it will be the salvation of nationwide public higher education.”
President Kalikow will begin her duties on September 1, 2014 following a brief sabbatical.
“After much discussion, Theo and I have decided it is time for her to move into a new role in her final year of service to the University of Maine System,” said University of Maine System Chancellor James Page in a prepared statement. “Theo took on a difficult job at USM at my urging and handled the assignment with determination and grace. Nevertheless we both recognize it is time for new leadership to address the university’s ongoing fiscal challenges, commence the implementation of the Metropolitan University Initiative, and best position USM for success under a new, permanent president.”
Kalikow came out of retirement to serve as USM’s president in 2012 after retiring from the University of Maine at Farmington.
“The University of Southern Maine is an institution in the midst of a difficult transition,” said President Kalikow in a prepared statement. “However, I know we all share a commitment to the value and future of USM. It has been a privilege to serve this university and its students, but I agree with Chancellor Page that it is time to bring new energy and a new perspective to the university.”
Page also announced that he would be continuing consultations with campus and community leaders on the selection of a new interim president to lead USM until a permanent president is found through a search committee that will begin this fall.This story will be updated.