As the search gets underway for a “permanent” UMaine President to succeed the highly respected and much liked “interim” President Sue Hunter, questions should be addressed from the start.
- Should the finalists be Mainers by birth or least have spent considerable time in Maine? Would being “from away” necessarily be a liability?
- Should the finalists have academic backgrounds or instead be from the business community or the military or government? (I leave out coming from the labor sector as that would never happen with the current System Board of Trustees).
- Should the finalists conceive of the job as the same as a CEO or a military commander or as something quite different?
- Should the finalists make job creation as their primary objective or have broader goals?
- How should the finalists treat the liberal arts vs. vocational training?
- Should the finalists conceive of professors as the heart of UMaine or as marginal characters ideally teaching as adjuncts to save money?
- Should the finalists be willing to take stands on pertinent public issues or, as at present throughout the UME System, keep a low profile and defer to the conservative Republicans and Democrats who currently control public higher education in Maine?
- Finally, should the finalists be looking to remain at UMaine for at least a few years or, as has happened all too often, be looking for another presidency from day one?