Glenn Cummings has been appointed interim president of the University of Maine Augusta, the university system said in a news release Tuesday.

Cummings, who is currently the president and executive director of the G.W. Hinckley organization and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley in Hinckley, will assume the position on Sept. 9 and serve until a permanent president is found.

He will replace Allyson Handley, who announced last month she would be leaving for a job at National University in San Diego.

Cummings, 53, has an extensive background in politics and education. He previously served under President Obama as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S Department of Education, where he helped manage a $1.9 billion budget. He has also taught educational leadership at the University of Southern Maine and studied ways to improve higher-education retention and competition rates, the news release said.

He has also previously served as speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and chaired the Joint Committee of Education and Cultural Affairs.

According to his biography on the Good Will-Hinkley website, Cummings earned a doctorate degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a master’s of arts in teaching from Brown University and a bachelor’s from Ohio Wesleyan University.

“We have a strong team at UMA. In Dr. Cummings we add a proven Maine leader and public servant who combines state and federal policy expertise with the practical experience of running a Maine-based institution,” University of Maine System Chancellor James Page said in a written statement. “Like Sue Hunter at UMaine and David Flanagan at USM, Glenn is a talented Mainer joining the leadership ranks of our public higher education system understanding our challenges and seeing our potential as a public service institution.”

Serving more than 5,000 students at campuses in Augusta, Bangor and eight other college centers, UMA is the third-largest public university in Maine, the news release said.

System Trustee Marge Medd will head a search committee to find a permanent president. That work will likely begin later this year.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome President Cummings to the university,” Medd said in a written statement. “Glenn’s collaborative leadership is a great fit for what our faculty and staff are striving to accomplish here at the University of Maine at Augusta.”

Cummings said in a written statement that he was honored to be appointed to the position.

“As a multi-generation Mainer and first generation four-year college graduate, I have lived personally the power of education to transform lives,” Cummings said.

Cummings said he will be stepping down as the president and CEO of G.W. Hinckley, and that the school’s vice president of operations, Robert Moody, is expected to be named as the schools’ interim president.

Cummings lives in Portland with his wife, Leslie Appelbaum, who is a teacher at Casco Bay High School, where his 15-year-old daughter, Skyler, is a student. Cummings’ 18-year-old son, Kiernan, is attending American University in Washington, D.C.

Cummings will earn a salary of $150,000, according university spokesman Dan Demeritt.


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