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May 23, 2014 01:48 PM EDT

University of Maine President Leaves For Ball State

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A top administrator at the University of Maine President is leaving after three years with the school, WCSH News reported.

Paul Ferguson will be leaving the institution to become the 15th president of Ball State University in Indiana effective Aug. 1.  He was unanimously approved for the position by the school's Board of Trustees.

"Ball State has a clear and defining mission as a highly student-centered and community-engaged university. The challenges of providing an innovative and relevant education within a context of sound fiscal management have never been greater, nor has the importance of doing so successfully. Ball State has proven this is possible, and I am excited to have the opportunity to build on that success," Ferguson said in a statement.

During his presidency at the University of Maine, Ferguson oversaw the development and implementation of the Blue Sky Plan, "a plan designed to grow enrollment and increase student success in the coming years," WCSH News reported. Establishing fiscal sustainability is a key tenet of the plan, with an emphasis on both research funding and fundraising.

Prior to coming to the University of Maine, Ferguson served for five years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. He has also held positions at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. In addition, he spent six years working as a research biologist and toxicologist in the corporate sector in California.

"So much has been accomplished in the past 10 years," Rick Hall, chair of the Board Of Trustees at Ball State University, said in a statement. "[O]ur current president, Jo Ann Gora, has set the bar high. The trustees believe we have found the right person to carry Ball State forward. Paul Ferguson is an experienced academic leader and scholar who is deeply committed to the mission of delivering a distinctive, high quality educational experience at a public research university."

The University of Maine is in the early stages of finding a new school president. 

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