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University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

The University of Maine at Fort Kent welcomes Dr. Deborah Hedeen as the next President of UMFK

Dr. Deborah Hedeen Named President / Provost of the University of Maine at Fort Kent

10:30 AM, Tuesday, March 24, 2020

National search brings proven higher education leader to UMFK

Orono, Maine -- University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy has named Dr. Deborah Hedeen President / Provost of the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Dr. Deborah Hedeen will bring 27-years of higher education experience, including nearly two decades of service in leadership roles, to the St. John Valley. She currently serves as the provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Montana Western since July 2016.

Dr. Hedeen participated in a virtual introduction event that was streamed to the University of Maine System’s YouTube channel on March 24. Her appointment as President / Provost of UMFK commences July 1.

Dr. Hedeen was chosen as part of a campus and community-engaged national search for university leadership. Chancellor Malloy announced his intention to launch the search as part of his first-day-on-the-job visit to the University of Maine at Fort Kent last summer.

“Our commitment to our rural communities and campuses is student-focused and mission-driven,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Dr. Hedeen understands the importance of strengthening access to education across all regions of Maine and that we have to work together to get the job done for our students. She impressed us all in her visit this winter and it is a pleasure to welcome Deb to UMFK and the University of Maine System leadership team.

“I have known right from the start that UMFK enjoys community support that would be the envy of any university. As expected, the participation in the search was outstanding and I want to thank the committee and everyone who contributed for a job well done.”

Please follow these links to Dr. Hedeen’s biographyCV, and photo.

“I am so thrilled and honored to have been selected to serve as the next president of the University of Maine at Fort Kent,” said Dr. Deborah Hedeen. “The faculty, staff, and students are so proud of this university, its history, and the programs and services that make UMFK a premier rural university. I am impressed, inspired, and ready to get to work on campus and across the University of Maine System to continue building on the strength and reputation of UMFK.”

The UMFK Presidential Search Committee began its work last September under the leadership of search chair Kelly Martin, a Fort Kent resident and Vice Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. The committee 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.

“We had outstanding participation on campus and throughout the St. John Valley with our national search for a new UMFK president,” said Kelly Martin. “We were able to bring four highly qualified higher education leaders to campus for a visit and present a strong slate of candidates to the Chancellor for his consideration.

“I am grateful to extend the welcome and congratulations of the Board of Trustees to Dr. Hedeen. We look forward to working with her as the new President and Provost of the University of Maine at Fort Kent.”

The President of the University of Maine at Fort Kent is advised by a Board of Visitors composed of community leaders and university stakeholders. Doug Cyr serves as the Chair of the UMFK BOV and was a member of the search committee.

“UMFK 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,” said Doug Cyr, Chair of the UMFK Board of Visitors. “Dr. Hedeen 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.”


Dr. Deborah Hedeen has served as the provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Montana Western since July 2016. Previously, she was at Idaho State University for 23 years where she served as dean of the college of education for 10 years; associate dean and assistant dean of teacher education; and professor of special education. As a first generation student, Dr. Hedeen understands the importance of a student-centered campus community. She has extensive experience developing instructional delivery models for students in remote and rural areas. Central to her 18 years of leadership at both institutions, Dr. Hedeen led a collaborative and inclusive approach to diverse student recruitment, persistence, and success; strengthened the strategic planning, accreditation and assessment processes; and advanced fiscal management of resources. Dr. Hedeen has published journal articles and book chapters related to positive behavior supports and educational strategies for students with autism. She has given over 175 international, national, and state presentations. Dr. Hedeen earned a doctorate of philosophy in special education from Syracuse University, a master of education from Lesley University, and bachelor of science in special education and Spanish from St. Cloud State University. To complement her studies, Dr. Hedeen has lived in three countries – Spain, Germany, and New Zealand.