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UMS Chancellor Dannel Malloy is ready for another year on the job

After a rough few months, University of Maine System Chancellor Malloy says he is focusing on the future.

MAINE, USA — Dannel Malloy says he's ready for another year as the chancellor of the University of Maine System. 

Earlier this month, the system's board of trustees voted unanimously to renew his contract for one more year. The vote came after months of controversy and votes of "no confidence" from faculty at four of the seven UMS schools. 

Malloy said he is focused on the future and sustaining the current success of the system.

"We have to develop the tools that will allow us to do that in an environment where we have fewer students than we once had, and that means fewer dollars coming in. So, that's what the strategic plan needs to be about, that's what our development of unified accreditation is all about," Malloy said.

Trish Riley, chair of the board of trustees, says the board is also focused on the future, preparing to "move on, reboot, and rebuild."

Malloy says he's ready to take on some of the challenges the system is currently facing aside from the pandemic. One of which, is the trend of fewer high school graduates in Maine each year. 

"Since the largest portion of our population in our institutions actually comes from Maine, that means that there's a trend that doesn't necessarily help us, so how we address that is an important question," Malloy said.

Some other issues he plans to look into include updates to the aging infrastructure at each of the campuses. 

This year, administrators will also look to renew its first-in-the-nation statewide unified accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education. Riley says it allows for more inter-campus cooperation, which in turn results in savings not only for students but for taxpayers. 

"A financial aid office at a bigger campus can help a financial aid office at a smaller office, but they don't have to have it," Riley said.

Another big agenda item is developing a strategic 10-year-plan for the system.

"When I got here, I discovered a system that had not done an in-depth strategic study of itself for itself to predict the path to be taken for success in the future," Malloy said.

Riley added the board is moving on from the controversy in recent months now that it's been addressed, also looking toward what's ahead. 

"Despite the concerns, the need for stability and progress outweighed that, and the direction we're heading in is important," Riley said.

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