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Hecker reflects on decades of service with President Hunter

President Susan J. Hunter has touched the lives of many during her time at the University of Maine. Among those people is Provost Jeffrey Hecker, who has known President Hunter for nearly 30 years

“I started to work closely with Sue [Hunter] when I became Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Her tenure as Provost and mine as Dean started at the same time. She and her husband raised their two children in a house around the corner from ours,” Hecker said.

President Hunter will be leaving behind a legacy of being hardworking, affable and tenacious, according to Hecker. “I think Sue’s presidency will be remembered for the skillful way she has led the institution through the transition of the University of Maine System under Chancellor Page’s One University initiative. While Sue has been a strong and consistent voice for the unique role the University of Maine plays as the state’s Land and Sea Grant university, she understands the need for change. She has stood firm when it came to issues central to UMaine’s continued success but was willing to compromise when she saw that compromise was in the best interest of the people of Maine,” Hecker wrote.

Additionally, President Hunter served her term through the transition of the University of Maine at Machias from its status as an independent institution to a regional campus of the University of Maine. Hecker believes that this also contributes to the legacy she will leave behind. “Sue’s disarming personal style and her ability to keep the focus on the big picture were tremendously important in helping both campuses see the opportunities in this partnership,” Hecker wrote.

“Truly, honestly, sincerely, deeply. I have been magnificently treated by the UMaine community in all of my years here as a faculty member, as department chair, as associate provost, as provost, I’ve really enjoyed the interactions I’ve had. We don’t always agree, but my time on this campus has been very, very special and I’ve enjoyed the interactions across the board with whoever it’s been. I can’t complain about a thing,” President Hunter said. She will conclude her term as president at the end of June. Hecker will continue to work as provost with president-elect Joan Ferrini-Mundy.

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