Leadership Team named for UMM as part of partnership with UMaine

A leadership team has been named for the University of Maine at Machias as part of the new partnership with the University of Maine, effective July 1.


Dr. Kay Kimball will serve as executive dean/chief academic and operations officer. Dr. Dan Qualls will serve as director of academic support services and community outreach.


University of Maine at Machias President Sue Huseman’s interim appointment ends June 30. 


“It has been a privilege to collaborate with President Huseman, members of the two campus communities, and the University of Maine System leadership this past year to get the important work done to ultimately do what’s best for students and for the state of Maine,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “Those productive discussions continue, and I look forward to working closely with Kay and Dan to ensure the stability and success of the Machias campus and its mission in Downeast Maine.”


Dr. Kimball is UMM’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. She joined the UMM community in 1999 as an assistant professor of history, after teaching at Agnes Scott College and Oglethorpe University. In 2013, Dr. Kimball became assistant provost for academic services and was named interim provost last year. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Emory University. 


Dr. Qualls is a UMM associate professor of education, coordinator of the Education Program and chair of the Professional Studies Division. Prior to joining the UMM community in 2008, he was a university supervisor of student teachers in grades K–12 at the University of Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in theory and practice in teacher education from the University of Tennessee. 


The upcoming change in governance structure is a result of the University of Maine System Board of Trustee’s recent approval of a Primary Partnership agreement between UMM and UMaine. The One University partnership changes the leadership at UMM from a president and academic provost to an executive dean/chief academic and operations officer and director of academic support services. Dr. Hunter will be president of both campuses.


The partnership will strengthen UMM’s unique brand and reduce costs. Academic offerings for students at both campuses will be expanded. Collaborative ventures are already occurring in technology, career services, admissions, financial aid and other areas. 


Under the partnership, UMM will retain its own identity, its unique mission, and its close relationship with the Downeast community. Faculty hiring and promotion processes will remain intact and UMM will also retain its ability to secure federal financial aid for its students and to seek grant funding. 


In forging the partnership, an Academic Integration Team was led by the provosts from both institutions and teams of faculty in similar disciplines. Faculty continue to explore commonalities, differences and complementarities across institutional boundaries, and are planning for ways in which students can benefit from cross-registration, internships and online offerings. 


UMM and the UMaine Office of Research and Sponsored Programs have signed a mutual agreement to help identify funding opportunities, aid in grant writing and administer awarded grants. 


“This partnership offers increased opportunities for students, faculty and staff on both campuses, as well as unique opportunities for UMM to grow and thrive,” Dr. Huseman says.