2017-09-14 / Community News

UNE inaugurates president


The University of New England inaugurated new president James Hebert at a ceremony Sept. 9 on the Biddeford campus. At right is Sen. Susan Collins. (Courtesy photo) The University of New England inaugurated new president James Hebert at a ceremony Sept. 9 on the Biddeford campus. At right is Sen. Susan Collins. (Courtesy photo) The University of New England hosted the inauguration of James Herbert, Ph.D., the sixth president of the university on Saturday, Sept. 9 on the Biddeford campus. The ceremony was held on the lawn of the Alfond Center for Health Sciences, where greetings to the new president were given by Sen. Susan Collins and President of Drexel University John Fry, among others.

Herbert, who took office on July 1, came to UNE from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he served as executive vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. He previously held a variety of administrative roles at Drexel, including interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, head of the Department of Psychology, interim head of the Department of Biology, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Program, director of the Ph.D., Program in Clinical Psychology, and president of the University Faculty. Herbert replaced Danielle Ripich, who retired at the end of June, as UNE’s president.

“I am deeply honored to play this role in the next chapter of UNE’s unique and remarkable story,” Herbert said. “It’s a story steeped in the history of courageous people who were dauntless in their efforts to build and grow an institution of higher learning. Throughout the years, the university and its predecessor institutions continuously upheld the values of dogged determination and inclusivity while delivering on the promise of education and the personal fulfillment that comes with it. I know that that spirit of UNE is ever-present and will push us forward, together, to a bright, bright future.”

In addition to Collins and Fry, attendees of the inauguration included other elected officials, delegates from various colleges and universities and UNE board members, faculty, staff and students. Maine Poet Laureate Emeritus Wesley McNair addressed the audience, and members of Herbert’s immediate family performed a musical interlude prior to the investiture of the new president and his following remarks.

“This is a day for us to wonder just how much further we can take UNE, to wonder just how much more UNE, and each of us, can become during the next era of our University’s evolution,” Herbert said in his inaugural address.

In her remarks, Collins said, “As home to Maine’s only medical and dental schools, UNE plays a vital role in our State’s future, helping to keep our best and brightest students here and to attract high-achieving students from elsewhere to come to Maine to study and to stay.”

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