The University of Maine System has selected an academic official from Texas to lead the system’s One University Initiative.

As vice chancellor for academic affairs, Robert Neely is expected to work to expand access to Maine’s public universities for “learners of all ages, backgrounds and locations,” as well as tailor the public system’s offerings to the needs of the state, according to the University of Maine System.

Neely currently works as provost and vice president for academic affairs and as a biology professor at Texas Woman’s University, the nation’s largest university primarily serving women. Neely has held several administrative and professorial positions at Eastern Michigan University and Iowa State University since the early 1980s.

“Working as one, Maine’s universities have achieved national leadership around affordability, expanded access to our programs, and improved fiscal stability and our capacity to serve,” James Page, chancellor of the University of Maine System, said in a statement. “In Dr. Robert Neely our search committee identified a proven academic leader with the experience and approach needed to transform our academic programs into a truly statewide, strategically aligned portfolio.”

Neely is set to start as vice chancellor for academic affairs on Sept. 1, earning an annual salary of $225,000, according to the university system.

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