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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- UMaine System Chancellor James Page and Board of Trustee Chair announced Wednesday that University of Southern Maine's new interim president will be David Flanagan. Flanagan has worked in business and policy in Maine and the U.S. for more than 40 years.

Flanagan previously worked for Central Maine Power as the president. He was also an Assistant Maine Attorney General, serving as Chief Legal Counsel to Maine Gov. Joseph Brennan. In 2005, Senator Susan Collins appointed Flanagan to lead the Homeland Security Committee's investigation into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Flanagan is also a former member and Chair of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees.

"The Board of Trustees sought out David Flanagan because of his success in crisis management, his understanding of the issues and because he embodies the servant-leadership style it takes build consensus and implement change," said UMS Board Chair Samuel Collins of Caribou,"We are asking and directing him to act."

USM has faced many fiscal challenges over the last year, and university leaders said the university is facing a projected $12.5 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year and a 10 percent drop in credit hours over the last six years. Students and staff have rallied to preserve positions and reduce cuts to programs.

Chancellor Page said Flanagan will be leading the university to close the budget gap and lay a foundation for USM's permanent president.

Flanagan will begin as president on July 28 and will lead until a permanent president is appointed.

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