AUGUSTA — Paul W. Ferguson has been named the University of Maine’s 19th president.

His appointment was ratified today by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.

He succeeds Robert Kennedy, who is stepping down in June, and will be paid $250,000 a year on a two-year contract.

Ferguson currently serves as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University. He’s also a professor of pharmacology and toxicology.

The three other finalists were Donald Farish, president at Rowan University in New Jersey; Daniel Julius, vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alaska System of Higher Education; and James Page, CEO of James W. Sewall Co. in Maine.