Ryan Low, executive director of governmental and external affairs for the University of Maine System, has been appointed interim vice president for administration and finance at the University of Maine, effective Sept. 2, 2014.
Low will serve a one-year term, ending Aug. 31, 2015. This spring, a search will be conducted to fill the position on a permanent basis.
Low replaces UMaine Vice President for Administration and Finance Judy Ryan, who announced this week that she will retire Sept. 12.
“In my capacity as provost of UMaine, vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMS, and now as president of UMaine, I have worked closely with Ryan for a number of years,” said UMaine President Susan Hunter. “Ryan is well-grounded in large enterprise and public finances, and has a solid understanding of the budget challenges at UMaine and the University of Maine System. He also has played an important role in Augusta, effectively working across the aisle to advocate for public higher education issues in Maine.”
University of Maine System James Page noted: “Ryan Low is among our most effective and dedicated public servants, with an unsurpassed understanding of public finance and its application to higher education. He will make a valuable addition to President Hunter’s team and I will continue to rely on his counsel as we continue the work of better positioning the University of Maine System to meet our responsibilities to our students and the people of Maine.”
Vice President Judy Ryan noted that her decision to leave UMaine has not been easy. “After more than 30 years in higher education, I feel it is the right time to make this planned retirement a reality and turn over the reins,” she said. “I believe Ryan has the right financial background and a record of collaboration with the University of Maine System to lead at this time. I look forward to working with him during the transition.”
Low said he looks forward to working on behalf of the University of Maine and UMS to provide the fiscal leadership needed in the coming year. “As the flagship university, UMaine has an important role in the system and the state, and I look forward to working with campus and other constituents as we address the budget challenges ahead.”
While serving as UMaine’s interim vice president for administration and finance, Low will continue to be involved in UMS legislative affairs. Low joined the University of Maine System office in 2012 to direct governmental and external affairs. Prior to joining the system office, he worked for two years at his alma mater, the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), as vice president of administration and chief financial officer. Low served as commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services during the Baldacci administration. He also was Gov. John Baldacci’s deputy chief of staff, state budget officer and associate commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services. From 1997–2002, Low worked in the legislature, serving as chief of staff for the House majority leader and chief of staff for the speaker of the House.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745
The Bangor Daily News reported engineers at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center are evaluating a 180-foot wind turbine blade for strength testing. Habib Dagher, director of the center, said the blade is the largest structure ever to be tested at the facility, which is one of two sites in the nation capable of handling the blade. He told the BDN there is a growing interest across the nation in using fewer but larger turbines because they are more cost-effective in energy production.
The Weekly Packet reported Paul Mayewski, a University of Maine professor and director of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute, recently spoke about climate change at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. During his presentation, “Journey Into Climate — Adventure, the Golden Age of Climate Research and the Unmasking of Human Innocence,” Mayewski said with the “onset of the most dramatic [climate] consequences” occurring since the Industrial Revolution, climate change “is a sad story but important to know.”
A Portland Press Herald business reporter spoke with Jake Ward, vice president for innovation and economic development at the University of Maine, for a commentary titled “Fact checking LePage on R&D, MTI and innovation.” Ward was interviewed in response to a recent comment made by Gov. Paul LePage stating the University of Maine System has 37 patents that are not being commercialized. Ward said the system has 77 patents assigned to it and more than a third are jointly owned with a private business or have a commercial license agreement or license options. Others are associated with ongoing research projects funded by both public and private dollars, he said.
The Bangor Daily News published the latest article in a yearlong series by Sandra Butler, a professor of social work at the University of Maine, and Luisa Deprez, a professor and department chair of sociology and women and gender studies at the University of Southern Maine. “‘Social Security is not the way to live’: Maine couple talks growing older, living with disability,” is the pair’s latest column to share stories of Mainers struggling in today’s economy.
Certified therapy dogs will return to Fogler Library this semester to offer stress relief and comfort for any student, staff or faculty member interested in visiting the animals, says Fogler’s Public Relations Manager Gretchen Gfeller.
Therapy dogs are scheduled to be in the Reserve Reading Room on the library’s first floor from 2–4 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 9 and 16 and from noon–2 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 10 and 17. No appointment is necessary.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Gfeller at 207.581.1696
The Forecaster reported the University of Maine’s Maine Sea Grant program is partnering with Hillary Krapf, a holistic healer in Portland, to host the first Maine Seaweed Festival to celebrate the many practical functions of Maine seaweed. The free festival will be held Aug. 30 at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. The Bangor Daily News carried The Forecaster’s report.
Jason Bolton, a food safety specialist with the University of Maine School of Food and Agriculture, spoke to the Associated Press for an article about Rockland-based Linda Bean’s lobster processing plant stating it has addressed violations cited by the Food and Drug Administration in February. The FDA says it has not yet cleared the firm of violations, according to the article. Bolton told the AP that Bean contacted him for help addressing some of the FDA’s concerns. “In every conversation I had with their plant manager and their chief financial officer, they were very willing to work with me,” Bolton said. Portland Press Herald, Boston Herald and The Boston Globe carried the AP report.
The London-based Times Higher Education published an opinion piece by University of Maine history professor Howard Segal titled “The systematisation of higher education in the US.”
The 35th Black Bear Triathlon will be held Oct. 5 at the University of Maine.
The race, sponsored by UMaine Campus Recreation and sanctioned by USA Triathlon, will be held from 6:30 a.m. to noon. It will feature a 525-yard swim in UMaine’s Wallace Pool, and a 12.5-mile bike race and 3.1-mile run along the UMaine trails and local roadways.
The Black Bear Triathlon is open to athletes ages 16 and older. In addition to individual competition, the event features a relay component for teams of two or three athletes. Eighty people between the ages of 18 and 67 participated in the event last year.
Registration fee is $50; $40 for UMaine students; $75 for teams. Additional registration and event information is online.