University of Maine System Chancellor Announces Dr. Jenifer Cushman as New UMA President

National search brings proven higher education leader to UMA

Dannel Malloy, Jenifer Cushman, and Joseph Szakas
Left to Right: University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy, Newly Appointed President of UMA Dr. Jenifer Cushman, and Interim President of UMA, Provost, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Joseph Szakas

Orono, Maine — University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy has named Dr. Jenifer Cushman President of the University of Maine at Augusta. Dr. Cushman will bring over 25-years of higher education experience, including nearly nine years as Chancellor and President of a campus resulting in significant involvement in partnerships with higher education institutions and organizations around the world. Dr. Cushman is devoted to small campus communities that transform the lives of lesser-resourced students. She also has extensive experience cultivating donors and securing awards and grants. She is currently Chancellor at Penn State Beaver, holding the rank of associate professor since July 2016.

Dr. Cushman participated in a virtual introduction event that was streamed through the University of Maine Augusta’s YouTube channel on May 10, 2023 and was joined by her husband, Matt Dingo, her son Jakub, daughter Halina and her daughter’s partner Zoltan Nemeth.

Her appointment as President of UMA commences July 1, 2023.

“Dr. Cushman’s background as a faculty member turned international educator and subsequently, head of campus, has given her a profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities prevalent in higher education,” said Dannel Malloy, Chancellor of the University of Maine System. “While our universities and Law School work together to establish a cohesive state-wide system, each campus has its own distinct mission, serving unique student populations as well as its local community. The University of Maine at Augusta, for instance, caters to both residential students and working adult learners with diverse learning needs and preferences. Dr. Cushman’s commendable efforts in providing low-income students with adequate services to facilitate access to post-secondary education, coupled with her experience in online and distance learning, render her an ideal candidate to lead UMA.”

Dr. Cushman was chosen as part of a campus and community-engaged national search for university leadership. The UMA Presidential Search Committee began its work last October under the leadership of UMS Trustee Roger Katz. A native of the area with deep ties to UMA, Trustee Katz formerly served as Mayor of Augusta and represented the region for four terms in the Maine State Senate. The committee, composed of 13 members representing faculty, staff, students, alumni and a member of UMA’s Board of Visitors, was charged with recommending to the Chancellor an unranked list of no more than four individuals qualified to lead the university along with an assessment of each of the candidates. When the diverse candidate pool was narrowed to three highly qualified candidates, extensive on-site interviews were conducted, providing ample opportunity for stakeholder groups from across the state to offer input.

“I was honored to serve on the search committee. We had outstanding participation on the UMA campus and throughout the Augusta region in our national outreach for a new UMA president,” said Roger Katz. “We were able to bring three highly qualified higher education leaders to campus for a visit. Dr. Cushman received high marks from all corners of the UMA community and we are confident she will be an outstanding President. I know she is anxious to get started and we look forward to working with her as UMA begins this new chapter.”

Dick Thompson, Chair of the UMA Board of Visitors (BOV) and member of the search committee noted “UMA is an important resource for today’s students and employers. It is also an institution that enjoys broad support for its long tradition of community service and enrichment. Dr. Cushman is going to be a great partner in our work to support and strengthen how higher education serves our community. It is a pleasure to welcome her to the university.”
UMA transforms the lives of students of every age and background through affordable high-quality postsecondary education and workforce training offered through its main campuses in Augusta and Bangor, online, and at UMA Centers in Brunswick, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Houlton, Lewiston, Rockland, Rumford and Saco, and 30 community sites. More than half of UMA’s students are 25 or older. The university has 462 employees and currently enrolls 3,266 students, with an additional 1,180 Maine high school students earning credit through its early college programs. For more information, visit

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