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Presidential search committee chooses three finalists

Posted on February 04, 2015 in News
By Emma James

Glenn Cummings
Courtesy of USM Public Affairs
Glenn Cummings
Jose &quotZito" Sartarelli, Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics
Courtesy of USM Public Affairs
Jose "Zito" Sartarelli, Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics
Harvey Kesselman
Courtesy of USM Public Affairs
Harvey Kesselman

Three finalists have been selected by the University of Southern Maine Presidential Search Committee and were announced last week. The candidates will be on all campuses at separate times throughout February.

The search committee included members of the board of trustees, students, staff, faculty, the community, board of visitors and a designee of the Chancellor. According to an email sent out by Chris Quint, executive director of public affairs, the committee began its national search last October. With 80 applicant responses, this presidential search is one of the largest in the last decade for any position within the university system.

Dr. Harvey Kesselman, who will be visiting USM on February 2 and 3, is currently the Provost and Executive Vice President at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The second candidate, Dr. Jose Sartarelli, is the Chief Global Officer and Milan Puskar Dean of the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. He will be visiting USM on February 5th and 6th.

The final second candidate, who will be visiting USM on February 9 and 10, is Dr. Glenn Cummings, who currently serves as the president of the University of Maine at Augusta.

Kesselman was nominated to the position and in his letter of intent, explained that the mission statement set forth by the search committee was one to be enthused about.

“[I] believe my leadership abilities, skills, proven expertise in higher education, professional qualifications and personal characteristics are consistent with those you seek in your next president,” said Kesselman.

He went on to explain that in his current role, he is responsible for managing a $75 million academic budget, serves 8,600 students as well as 8000 full and part-time faculty and staff, eight academic schools and several supporting divisions throughout the college.

“Working closely with the president and the board of trustees,” he explained, “I have been a transformational leader of Stockton.”

Dr. Jose Sartarelli, the second candidate to visit the university, expressed his interest in the position and explained that he was able to turn a “good college” into a “vibrant one” with the support of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

“Together we have achieved all-time record fundraising, $30 million in four years, reached all-time record enrollment, 2,709 students versus 1,452 in 2010 and strengthened the financials of the college significantly, with $45 million in net assets versus $29 million in 2010.”

He went on to explain that they have expanded recruitment globally and now some particular programs have ranked globally.

Lastly, Dr. Glenn Cummings, will be visiting the campuses on February 9th and 10th.

In his letter of intent, Cummings explained, “Plainly said, I see this position from a deep-seated and well-informed belief in the power, importance and enormous potential of the University of Southern Maine.”

Despite significant recent struggles, he believes the university possesses all the assets necessary for a significant turnaround.

“My vision includes reshaping the University of Southern Maine into one of the most vibrant metropolitan universities in the country,” said Cummings. “I believe this is a vision that faculty, staff, students and community members share already as stakeholder.”

According to Cummings, with the right leadership, that vision is attainable.

In an email, Quint explained that following the campus visits the search committee will reconvene to consider community comments and finalize recommendations that will be forwarded to the University of Maine System Chancellor James Page. In the spring, the board of trustees will be asked to approve the Chancellor’s selection. The new president is expected to take office early this summer.

On Feb. 2, Kesselman will be having an open meeting with faculty from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00, with students from 1:15 to 2:00 and with staff from 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. in the Glickman Library Events Room on the seventh floor.

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