February 1, 2002
After three successful years as vice president for academic affairs, which have been marked by the completion of a new state-of-the-art learning facility and development of two new degree programs at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, Carol Browne is leaving the top academic post at the state's northernmost campus later this year.
Browne, who was selected as the university's academic officer and dean of the faculty after a national search in late 1998, assumed her duties on March 1, 1999. She came to UMFK from Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana, where she served as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Her decision to leave the Fort Kent campus stems from family interests, which require her to return to the mid-west.
"I could never have anticipated the changes that have occurred within my family. Although I am currently exploring several professional opportunities, and I intend to continue my career in higher education for several years, this move is precipitated by the need to be closer to my family," said Browne.
The vice president for academic affairs has set no official date for her departure and intends to remain at UMFK to help ensure a smooth transition for the institution's new president, who will be named in the coming months. A campus search committee, comprised of University of Maine System officials, UMFK faculty and staff, including Browne, and community members, have been meeting since December and are currently reviewing applicants for the next campus president.
Browne's tenure at UMFK has been marked with tremendous growth of the university's physical infrastructure, student body, and academic program offerings.
In addition to her administrative duties at UMFK, Browne also taught an education course for two semesters.
She was nominated and accepted into the Theta Class of Leadership Maine.
In her capacity as vice president for academic affairs, former UMFK president Charles Lyons tapped Browne to chair the committee responsible for oversight of the first new stand-alone building project on campus in 25 years.
Last September, after two-and-half-years of planning and a year of construction, Nadeau Hall, a state-of-the-art instructional building, which also houses office space for more than 30 faculty and support staff, was opened, helping to greatly alleviate a campus that had rapidly outgrown its facilities.
Browne also led the charge for the development of two new "cutting edge" degree program offerings at UMFK. Working with a team of faculty members, she oversaw the curriculum design, successfully argued the need for, and began implementing a new four-year e-commerce program and rural public safety administration program.
"What Carol has accomplished on this campus will have a positive impact on the university for generations of future students and faculty. Her active leadership in the academic arena has enhanced the quality of education we provide our students on a daily basis," said Donald Zillman, interim president. "She has also been a most effective advocate for UMFK at the System level."
In addition to the outwardly visible changes Browne helped bring about on the university campus, she was also responsible for several other positive developments in recent years.
Under her leadership UMFK's academic divisions were reorganized to strengthen education and arts and humanities programs, which resulted in the new division of education. Articulation agreements were facilitated with three other institutions, Kennebec Valley Technical College, Northern Maine Technical College, and Washington County Technical College.
Browne facilitated and supported the development of a new humanities course for first-semester students and supported changes in first-year advising that resulted in improved preparation and retention of students. She served as the primary architect for the revision of the structure of external review of academic programs that emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of UMFK programs.
In the coming months Browne plans to continue to work toward strengthening UMFK academic programs, and providing as smooth a transition as possible for the incoming president. She also plans to be actively involved in plans for the renovation of Cyr Hall, the main classroom and administration building.
"I will leave UMFK a stronger institution with regard to accountability, emphasis on quality and a continued focus on using our resources wisely. I am proud about my accomplishments here," said Browne. "I have enjoyed the community and the people. I will look for a place in the Midwest that has some of the same attributes that drew me to Maine," said Browne.