University of New England Announces James Herbert of Drexel University as Next UNE President

University of New England Announces James Herbert of Drexel University as Next UNE President

BIDDEFORD, Maine – The University of New England is pleased to announce James Herbert, Ph.D., as the next president of the university. He will assume office on July 1, 2017, immediately after the close of the 11-year tenure of President Danielle Ripich.

Herbert comes to UNE from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he currently serves as executive vice provost and dean of the Graduate College. He previously held a variety of administrative roles at Drexel, including interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, head of the Department of Psychology, interim head of the Department of Biology, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Program, director of the Ph.D., Program in Clinical Psychology, and president of the University Faculty.

In announcing the choice, search committee chair Gloria Pinza remarked on the thoughtful and deliberative nature of the selection process. “As our work began, we solicited input from UNE’s faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, donors and students to get their vision for UNE and understand the qualities that members of the university community thought would be most essential in our next leader,” she said, adding, “At the end of the day, one candidate stood out clearly from the others.”

President Ripich introduced the incoming president as “warm, engaging, intelligent and forward-looking” and proclaimed him a perfect fit for the university. He has exactly the right kind of background, temperament and vision necessary to lead UNE,” she stated. “Having steered the university to the deep waters with the help of so many wonderful people here, I am delighted to hand the wheel to a man uniquely equipped to guide UNE into its bright, blue future.”

Herbert noted that he was “both humbled and exhilarated” by being selected as the next university president, and he expressed his thoughts on building upon the successes of President Ripich. “I believe UNE is well-positioned to continue offering exceptional value to its students,” he remarked. “As uncertainties swirl regarding the future of health care and industries are turned on their ear by new technologies, UNE’s innovative spirit will be more valuable than ever.”

Herbert also shared that UNE’s presidential search was the only presidential search to which he applied – a decision, he said, that “was not made lightly.” He explained: “As I learned about UNE and its remarkable progress over the past decade… of its growing in so many ways while other small colleges and universities were buckling under the demographic and economic headwinds facing higher education, I just had to know more.”

Herbert’s educational background is in psychology, holding a Ph.D. and an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.A. in psychology from University of Texas at Austin. He has served in many positions in his field, including director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program and co-director of the Acceptance-Based Behavior Therapy Program, both at Drexel; acting director of the Student Counseling Center and director of Student Mental Health Services, both at Hahnemann University; and director of Psychological Services at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences. 

Release courtesy of the University of New England.


The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and three associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference currently administers championships in 16 intercollegiate sports with that number set to increase next year with the addition of football.


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