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Sep 12, 2011

Dr. Robert Kennedy Appointed Interim President of Board of Regents

Gov. Malloy appointed Dr. Robert Kennedy, immediate past president of the University of Maine, as the Interim President of the Board of Regents of Higher Education

Governor Dannel P. Malloy appointed Dr. Robert Kennedy, immediate past president of the University of Maine, as the Interim President of the Board of Regents of Higher Education, a new system, which includes the four state universities (Central, Eastern, Southern and Western) as well as the community college system and Charter Oak State College, the state’s online college. After January 1, 2012, the Board of Regents will send a list of three recommendations to the Governor, from which he will select the permanent President. Michael P. Meotti, the current Interim President, will transition to become the Executive Vice President and report directly to Dr. Kennedy.

“Bob is the right person to help lead us in this new direction,” said Governor Malloy. “As someone with classroom and administrative experience at a number of institutions of higher education, I know that he understands that our resources need to be focused on the students who attend these schools and the preparation they need for the global economy in which they will compete. Bob turned the University of Maine into a job engine and managed that institution with an entrepreneur’s eye for operating savings through first-in-the-nation energy initiatives and other measures. His personality, his work ethic and his experience leading other institutions will enable him to lead this new system successfully and I look forward to working with him and his team on this new endeavor.”

“Dr. Kennedy has years of classroom experience in addition to his time as a college administrator – he’s a great fit for this new position,” said Lewis Robinson, Chairman of the Board of Regents of Higher Education. “While there are challenges associated with any new endeavor such as this, I believe Dr. Kennedy’s experience will be helpful as we move toward a more streamlined and efficient way of educating our state’s students.”

“I’m honored to help lead this effort and ensure that, while the unique missions of each of these systems remains intact, the sum of all its parts truly focuses on student learning, enrichment and preparation for whatever lies ahead,” said Dr. Kennedy. “I appreciate Governor Malloy’s confidence in me and the already strong support I’ve received from Mike Meotti. I look forward to working with these fine individuals and institutions and the students that they serve.”

Dr. Kennedy is currently the President Emeritus at the University of Maine, the institution at which he served as President from 2004 until June 30, 2011. Previously, he served as the Executive Vice President and Provost, also at the University of Maine, and in senior administrative positions at Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland. Dr. Kennedy received his Ph.D. in botany from the University of California, Berkeley and held faculty positions at the University of Iowa and Washington State University, and he was a department chair at The Ohio State University.

At the University of Maine, Dr. Kennedy created the Student Innovation Center, which helps students, faculty and staff explore and foster entrepreneurial and business development ideas. Services offered include assistance with locating funding, public relations and marketing services, networking with alumni, entrepreneurs and industry experts, and the use of space within the center for student companies and projects.