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Rachel Albert tapped as interim UMFK vice president

May 27, 2005

NR05087

Rachel Albert, who has served as a member of the University of Maine at Fort Kent faculty for 15 years, has been tapped to serve as interim vice president for academic affairs for the coming year.

Albert, currently an associate professor of nursing and chair and director of the UMFK division of nursing, was nominated by President Richard Cost and approved by University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph Westphal and the Board of Trustees, to fill the university's top academic post. The position is being vacated by Robert Scott, who has been named the chief academic officer at Keystone College, a private institution with 1,600 students, just outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

In addition to heading the nursing division, Albert, a native of the St. John Valley, is currently serving as co-chair of the thorough self-study report UMFK is preparing in advance of a fall re-accreditation visit by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. She began work on preparing the campus community for the review immediately after successfully leading the nursing division through an accreditation review by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

"As director of nursing, Rachel prepared her division for professional accreditation with great skill and success and has skillfully handled a leadership role as co-chair of the NEASC self-study. That study has engaged the entire UMFK community and has taken shape well ahead of schedule. We are fortunate to have someone of Rachel's caliber here to step into this position on an interim basis," said Cost.

Albert joined UMFK in September of 1990. She was named director and chair of the division in 1999, and received promotion to associate professor that same year.

A 1985 alumna of the UMFK bachelor of science in nursing program, she received her PhD in 2001 from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne School of Nursing in Ohio and received her masters of science in nursing from the University of Texas in Houston in 1990.

"As VPAA, I am looking forward to playing a key leadership role, working closely with campus administration, faculty, students, and the community, to implement academic affairs initiatives that are consistent with fulfilling the academic mission of the university; sustain an environment that encourages teaching, learning, service, and scholarship; and provide direction for institutional effectiveness and quality education," said Albert.

In 1997, she was named to Outstanding Young Women of America and received the UMFK "Outstanding Faculty Award". She was also named to Who's Who among American Teachers in 2002.

In 2003, both chambers of the Maine State Legislature passed a legislative sentiment recognizing her work. The proclamation was sponsored, and later presented to Albert, by Fort Kent area representative Troy Jackson.

Albert belongs to numerous professional associations including the Maine Nurses Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Leadership Maine program.

Locally, she sits on the board of directors of Visiting Nurses of Aroostook and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Aroostook Mental Health Center.

Albert's work has been published in several journals, including the Journal of Emergency Nursing, the Journal of Professional Nursing and Advance for Nurses. Her work has also been featured on the CBS News "Healthwatch" website.