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March 31, 2011

Former ULM faculty member appointed University of Maine president

Dr. Paul Ferguson, former University of Louisiana at Monroe faculty member, has been named the 19th president of the University of Maine.

Ferguson first served as an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology in ULM's College of Pharmacy, during which time he was instrumental in establishing the Toxicology Program at ULM, the first of its kind in the South.

Not only did his participation on state and regional task forces expand understanding of potential risks of chemical exposure to Louisiana residents, he served as an early mentor to many ULM toxicology students, including current Toxicology Department Head Dr. Kevin Baer.

"He instilled in me a passion for toxicological research," said Baer. "His 'footprint' in the current program is still evident today. He was and is an outstanding scientist who consistently motivates everyone to reach for excellence."

Following a five-year appointment as Senior Toxicologist for Unocal Corporation in Los Angeles, Ferguson returned to ULM where he served five years as professor and head of the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Director of the Toxicology Program.

In 1993, he was appointed Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at ULM and additionally served as Vice Provost from 1995-1999.

Prior to being named president at the University of Maine, he was Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill., with a joint appointment as Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology and Biology.

His appointment was ratified by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees on March 14 and he will take office at the end of June.

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