BANGOR University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal has named William A. Shields as Acting President of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, effective August 1. Dr. Shields replaces Nancy Hensel, who announced her resignation in March to serve as Executive Director of the Council for Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Shields has had a long and successful career in higher education, said Westphal. He has demonstrated great leadership qualities as a campus administrator while maintaining a powerful sense of civic responsibility. Those qualities will serve the UMPI community well during this time of transition and build upon the successes initiated by President Hensel over the past five years.
Dr. Shields, who met with faculty, staff, students, and members of the community during a recent visit to the UMPI campus, has devoted 36 years to higher education. He brings extensive experience to his new post, having served as president of three institutions over 26 years, most recently as Interim President of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in 2002-03. From 1992-2002, Dr. Shields served as President of Rockford College in Rockford, Ill., after 15 years (1977-1992) as President of the College of Great Falls in Great Falls, Montana. Under his leadership, those institutions underwent extensive capital improvements, academic program development, campus upgrades, and enrollment increases.
Dr. Shields received a B.A. in sociology, with minors in history and political science, from Carroll College in 1964, and earned an M.A. in 1966 and a Ph.D. in 1972 in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. He has published numerous articles in the areas of organizational behavior, community dynamics, higher education, drug abuse, energy, and the environment.
Dr. Shields was Chair of the Division of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology at Idaho State University from 1975-77 and has served in various teaching and research capacities at the College of Great Falls, Idaho State, Pennsylvania State New Kensington, and the University of Pittsburgh.
Throughout his career, Dr. Shields has played an active role in community development, most recently as a member of the Bradford Development Council and a Senior Consultant, Mission & Identity Project, for the Association of Governing Boards in Washington, D.C. While at Rockford, Dr. Shields served as chair of the Greater Rockford Council of 100, a community economic development organization, and as vice chair and secretary/treasurer of the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges. At Great Falls, he chaired the Montana Board of Natural Resources and the Economic Development Council of the Great Falls Chamber, served on the Governors Task Force on Telecommunications, and served as president of the Independent Colleges of Montana Association.
Dr. Shields, 62, is married to Judy Sterbenz Shields. They have four adult children.
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the states largest educational institution, with more than 34,000 students enrolled. It features seven universities some with multiple campuses located across the state, as well as 11 University College outreach centers and more than 100 interactive distance education sites.