BANGOR — The University of Maine System will start a search this year for a new president at the University of Southern Maine, where Theodora Kalikow has been serving as interim president since July 2012.

“Theo has done a remarkable job,” board of trustees Chairman Samuel Collins said Sunday, announcing the search at the beginning of the two-day trustees meeting. “We certainly appreciate what she has done.”

Collins said a search committee will be formed this summer that will include representatives from the campus, the board of visitors, and the chancellor’s office.

The presidential search is to begin early this fall and will run until a successful candidate is identified. System officials hope to fill the position by July 2015, and possibly sooner, if the person selected is available.

Kalikow has a two-year contract, with an extension for up to one year.

Kalikow previously served for 18 years as president of the University of Maine at Farmington. She had retired in June 2012 but agreed to serve as president of USM at the request of the system’s then-new chancellor, James Page.

Kalikow replaced Selma Botman, who was USM’s president for four years before requesting reassignment in the wake of a no-confidence vote by the faculty and controversy over big raises she gave to top administrators despite funding and program cuts.

Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at:

ngallagher@pressherald.com