The University of Maine System has named the provost of the University of Maine at Presque Isle to the presidency of the school.

Chancellor James H. Page on Wednesday announced Dr. Raymond J. Rice’s appointment as interim president effective July 16. Rice will also remain as provost. Outgoing UMPI President Linda Schott is leaving to lead Southern Oregon University.

Rice, a professor of English, has been a faculty member at UMPI for 19 years, and has served as chair of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, Rice was named provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

Rice’s term as interim president will run through July 15, 2017. His salary will be $140,000 annually.

Rice has also overseen the expansion of early college offerings at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone and area secondary schools and has worked closely with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges on reaccreditation for UMPI. He has also been a key contributor to the One University Initiative, co-chairing the committee that established a General Education Transfer agreement among Maine’s public universities and Maine’s Community Colleges.

“The sentiment of campus and community stakeholders is clear and aligns with my own; our leadership at the University of Maine at Presque Isle must remain committed to the university’s strategic vision and direction,” Page said in a statement. “With Dr. Rice’s ground floor understanding and commitment to the direction and methodology of proficiency-based education in place, UMPI can remain focused on its established goals of service to our students and the region.”

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