University of Maine Chancellor Dannel Malloy, center, talks with students at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Just three months into his time as University of Maine System chancellor, Dannel Malloy has toured more than a dozen of the system’s campuses and centers.

On Thursday morning, it was Lewiston’s turn.

“I work with all these people. We’re part of a big extended family,” Malloy said after a tour of University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College on Westminster Street. “So I think it’s important that people know that I’m working at understanding where they work, where they go to school, what services we’re providing.”

University of Maine Chancellor Dannel Malloy, right, takes a minute to talk with Cafe LA supervisor Sam Wiacek during a tour of the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Malloy, 64, the former Democratic governor of Connecticut, was chosen as the University of Maine System’s chancellor in May. He officially took over for retiring Chancellor James Page on July 1.

Malloy has offices on University of Maine campuses in Portland, Orono and Augusta, but he’s spent a chunk of his first months exploring the system’s other locations, including Fort Kent, Presque Isle, East Millinocket, Machias and Farmington.

More than half the system’s buildings are 50 years old or older, Malloy said, which means he and other system leaders will likely have to discuss capital expenditures during his tenure.

“Seeing places when they’re being talked about gives me a perspective. That’s important,” he said.

Next week, he’ll go to Gorham.

University of Maine Chancellor Dannel Malloy, lower left, talks with University of Southern Maine Provost Jeannine Uzzi, lower right, Interim Dean of Lewiston-Auburn College Brian Toy, top right, and General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Chancellor James Thelen at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

As Malloy visited Lewiston-Auburn College’s classrooms, labs and meeting spaces, he recognized that this particular tour was unique. University of Southern Maine officials want to leave that building on the outskirts of Lewiston and move the school downtown in the next few years.

“I haven’t been involved in major discussions on that subject,” he said, “but now when that time comes, I’m quite familiar.”

That discussion could come soon. A finance and facilities committee for the system’s board of trustees will meet next Wednesday to discuss selling the college property in Lewiston. If the committee approves of selling, the full board will take it up in November.

While the chancellor can agree or disagree with the relocation, the board will have the final say.

Thursday’s tour gave Malloy a chance to see the college as it stands, with its mix of old and new classrooms, multiple student lounges, wide atrium entrance and cafeteria tucked into a hallway nook. He learned about the nursing program that serves students throughout the region. He toured the college’s Franco-American Collection and the University of Maine at Augusta office for students attending from that school. He spoke with students, teachers and support staff — and one Sodexo food service employee who shared photos of her recent wedding.

His tour takeaway, in a word: “Impressive.”

“The students are impressive. The program offerings are impressive. The collaborative relationship with the University of Maine at Augusta is impressive. Saw wedding pictures of the person who runs the (cafeteria), I thought that was impressive. She was a beautiful bride and apparently had a beautiful day. So that was nice,” he said. “Part of a family.”

University of Maine Chancellor Dannel Malloy pops into a class to say hello at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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