Penn State Official Tapped to be 18th President of USM in Portland


Dr. Jacqueline Edmonson Addressed a Crowd This Afternoon When She was Introduced by University Chancellor Dan Malloy.

Some of the Audience at the Event Introducing Dr. Edmonson Today. At the Left is Dr. Glenn Cummings, USM Current President, Who She Replaces July 1st.  He Was Praised for His Leadership During Difficult Financial Times.

Dr. Jacqueline Edmonson in Front Row with University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy, Seated Behind Her today.

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Southern Maine as its 18th President,” Dr. Jacqueline Edmonson said this aftenoon at a Portland press conference on the mezzanine of  the Abromson Building in which she was introduced by the  University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel (Dan) Malloy.  Dr. Edmonson pledged to focus on students and to have a positive impact on all students.  She also vowed to work for the advancement of staff and faculty during her tenure that begins on July 1, 2022.  Dr. Edmondson is the fourth women to serve as President of USM.

In his introductory remarks, Chancellor Malloy praised Dr. Edmonson for her  dedication and commitment to education.  He said that her background and skills could not be more important than in today’s society – “in a democracy that is under threat.”  He called her “brilliant, and a dynamic leader who deeply appreciates the proven power of public higher education.”

Dr. Edmonson added eight new degree programs – many of which match popular programs at USM at Penn State Greater Allegheny.  She also  raised more than $4 million for scholarships and campus priorities launched to address housing and food insecurity among students.

USM’s 18th President earned her undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees at Penn State where she was a first generation college student.  She started as a music major before changing to elementary education. She currently lives in Pittsburgh.

Since 2017, she has been the Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of Penn State Greater Allegheny, where nearly half of the students are the first in their families to attend college. She is also the author of eight books.

“Glenn, thank you for loving this place and its people.  Thank you for your successes and your mistakes and all you have done to help us become a more beloved community who believe in ourselves and our promise to the state and the region.  To our new President; welcome to this place, to this table.  My only advice would be:  come as you are and help us to realize the fullest potential of this tremendous instituation.  Ask us about the one thing upon which we can all agree:  our students – and you will learn the true character of this place and all who work here, and all who support us.  Students are our focus, our passion, and our most sigificant investment in the future of this place,” said Libby Bischof, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education and Professor of  Hstory.

“We are incredibly sad to lose her, but her whole career has led up to being the next president of the University of Southern Maine,” said Victoria Garwood, director of strategies, planning and communications at Penn State Greater Allegheny.

Music was provided by students and alumni from the USM School of Music.  They included:  Bailey Giles,  Isla Brownlow, David Hession and Ryder Jackson.

Dr. Edmonson has signed a three year contract with USM at an annual salary of $290,000.