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President Cost to Lead Maine Higher Education Council

June 1, 2006

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University of Maine at Fort Kent President, Dr. Richard W. Cost, has been elected President of the Maine Higher Education Council (MHEC) for a one-year term.

Cost accepted the MHEC post at the organization's annual meeting on May 25 in Augusta.

The MHEC is an organization of the leaders of public and private postsecondary institutions in the state of Maine. The Council's purpose is to provide for closer acquaintance and better understanding among the chief executives of the member institutions, and to bring attention to major issues of concern to higher education.

The chair of the MHEC presides over meetings and works with the Council's executive director to represent the interests of Maine's higher education institutions before the legislature, media, and general public.

In accepting the presidency of the Council, Dr. Cost told his colleagues: "This is an interesting time in education. Many of us are involved in early college programs, pre-college programs and other efforts to better match up what high schools do to prepare their students with what we expect and demand of our incoming students. I am fortunate to sit on a secondary education policy task force which is looking at this same issue. We are focused on creating a seamless experience as students move through the educational process."

"At the same time, this Council represents all of the colleges and universities serving the people of Maine. All of us have an important contribution to make and now, more than ever, we need to plan in ways that will maximize all of Maine's educational resources; public and independent, four-year and two-year," Cost added.

The MHEC is committed to:

Raising the aspirations of Maine students

Increasing the financial aid available to Maine students

Marketing Maine's higher education resources

Improving communication and cooperation within Maine's higher education community and between the higher education community and other interested constituencies (e.g. elementary and secondary educators, state government, business community)

Members of the Council include the chief executives of the 39 degree-granting colleges, universities, and community colleges. It also includes the chancellor of the University of Maine System, the president of the Maine Community College System, and the commissioner of Educational and Cultural Services.