April 21, 2017
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is pleased to announce that retiring Vice President of Administration, John Murphy, will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award at UMFK’s 135th commencement ceremony on May 13, 2017. This award is given to individuals who have gone above and beyond in service to UMFK.
John attended UMFK from 1972 to 1975, earning an associate’s degree. He is a former UMFK student-athlete that played for the Bengal’s soccer team for three years. He went on to earn a Bachelor of University Studies degree in December 1980 from UMFK. In 2006, Murphy received the selection as the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Athletic Director of the Year for the Sunrise Athletic Conference. In 2015, he was inducted in the UMFK Athletic Hall of Fame.
John has quietly bridged the gap of time and leadership with his keen intelligence and local experience by stepping up to the plate at UMFK in many ways. In the recent past, University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page appointed John as interim president of UMFK prior to President Short’s arrival. The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees (BOT) agreed that Murphy understood the need for changes at the system level and had a clear understanding of the BOT’s concerns and directives. At the same time, the campus wanted to keep the positive momentum going with their own changes, including the implementation of the new five-year strategic plan while they conducted a search for a President.
Currently, John serves as UMFK’s Vice President of Administration with oversight of most of the day to day campus operation. In this position he is also responsible for all fiscal and accounting records for the campus; oversight of formulating campus budget and budget policies; and ensure campus compliance with system-wide fiscal and accounting procedures. During the twenty plus years he has been with UMFK he has also served as Dean of Students, Dean of Enrollment Management, Director of Financial Aid, and Athletic Director.
Widely regarded for his commitment and his broad and deep knowledge of university finances and operations, John has provided strong leadership through emergency situation such as floods and power losses and through difficult financial times. He has been a strong advocate for the St. John Valley and has held leadership roles in the community.
John has also played a significant role in System collaborative efforts, including the PeopleSoft implementation and the Strategic Procurement Administrative Review, where he has effectively balanced advocacy for a small campus perspective with recognizing the best overall solution for the System as a whole.
John is a member of the, President’s Executive Staff, President’s Cabinet, Vice President Administrative Services Council, Strategic Planning Committee, and the university’s Emergency Management Committee. He is a current serving his fourth term as a board member of the Maine Educational Loan Authority, a position that he was first appointed to by Governor King and then again by Governor LePage, with confirmation by the Maine State legislature. He has served on several other local boards, including Visiting Nurses of Aroostook, Fort Kent Real Estate Development Corporation Board of Directors, and was elected twice to the Fort Kent Town Council.
Outside of the office, John is known for his early morning racquetball game at the UMFK Sports Center. He also is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fly fishing, canoeing, camping during the summer, and ice fishing and snowmobiling in the winter. John resides with his wife, Dr. Terry Murphy, in Fort Kent.