BANGOR (AP) – Terrence MacTaggart, a former University of Maine System chancellor now serving as a professor within the system, will return to his old job for a one-year term, the board of trustees announced Monday.

MacTaggart, who served as chancellor from 1996 to 2002, will take over July 1. He will succeed Joseph Westphal, who is stepping down at the end of next month after more than four years on the job.

Board Chairman Charles Johnson III says MacTaggart will be expected to focus on implementing the system’s long-range plan.

MacTaggart, 59, of Hampden, is completing a four-year appointment as a university system professor whose research has involved higher education policy, leadership and governance.

Johnson hailed MacTaggart as an ideal choice.

“He has the knowledge of Maine, the respect of others, and an exceptional understanding of the issues facing higher education,” Johnson said.

Trustees may also assign MacTaggart the task of coordinating the board’s search process for someone to succeed him when his one-year contract expires next year, the chairman said.

Johnson said the system would save money by giving the assignment to MacTaggart, an internationally renowed expert on higher education leadership, rather than paying someone with his credentials or hiring a search firm.

MacTaggart’s salary as chancellor will be $200,850, the same as Westphal’s.

The board is scheduled to vote May 22 to ratify MacTaggart’s appointment.

The system is made up of seven universities and has a total enrollment of 34,000 students.

AP-ES-05-15-06 1536EDT