University of Southern Maine
|Motto||Connecting You with Tomorrow|
|Location||Gorham, Lewiston, Portland, Maine, USA
|Mascot||Champ the Husky|
The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a multi-campus public comprehensive university and part of the University of Maine System. USM's three primary campuses are located in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston in the U.S. state of Maine. Many courses and degree programs are also offered online. Originally founded as two separate universities (Gorham Normal School, University of Maine at Portland), the two state universities were combined in 1970 to help streamline the public university system in Maine and eventually expanded by adding the Lewiston campus in 1988. The Portland Campus is home to the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service along with the Bio Sciences Research Institute, , the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Osher Map Library, and the USM School of Business. The Gorham campus, much more residential, is home to the School of Education and Human Development and the School of Music.
USM is among the "Best Northeastern Colleges," according to The Princeton Review's 2007 listings, and was also included in its 2007 edition of "America's Best Value Colleges." As of 2012, USM had 7,500 undergraduate students and 2,320 graduate and law school students, with an average class size of 25 and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. Recent controversial decisions by the university administration to cut programs and fire up to 50 faculty have led to student-led protests on the campus.
- 1 History
- 2 Controversy
- 3 AAUP Investigative Report
- 4 Censure
- 5 Campuses
- 6 Academics
- 7 Athletics
- 8 People
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Evolving from Gorham Academy into an institution of higher education, USM originated in 1878 as Gorham Normal School, later called Gorham State Teachers College and then simply Gorham State College. In 1970 that institution merged with the University of Maine at Portland (previously Portland Junior College) and became the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham (UMPG). The name was changed to University of Southern Maine in 1978. The Lewiston-Auburn campus was founded in 1988. USM is a major educational engine in the overall growth and development of economic, civic, and cultural life in southern Maine. USM offers baccalaureate and master's degree programs as well as doctoral programs in Public Policy, and School Psychology.
At the beginning of 2014, administrators at USM announced that the university suddenly found itself in dire financial straits and would be announcing program closures and faculty layoffs, including of long-term just cause faculty and tenured faculty.
On March 14, 2014, President Theodora Kalikow and Provost Michael Stevenson announced that four departments would be closed: the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, the GeoSciences Department, the Arts and Humanities program at Lewiston-Auburn College, and the graduate program American and New England Studies (the Recreation and Leisure Studies closure was later rescinded). A week later, twelve individual faculty members across a spectrum of different departments were informed that they would be laid off effective May 31. Also involved in decisions about which faculty members and programs would be eliminated were college deans Lynn Kuzma, Andrew Anderson, Joseph McDonnell, and Joyce Gibson. As a result of protests led by USM students, however, these layoffs were rescinded by President Kalikow on April 11. Later that year, Chancellor Page asked Kalikow for her resignation as USM president. The situation garnered significant national attention.
This process was restarted in October 2014, when Interim President David T. Flanagan (former CEO of a power company) and Provost Joseph McDonnell announced that the three programs targeted for elimination in March would still be eliminated, and they added two more: French and Applied Medical Sciences. In addition, USM faculty were notified that twenty-five departments would have to shed fifty full-time faculty members, whether through retirement or layoffs. Again, college deans Manuel Avalos, James E. Graves, and Joyce Gibson took part in the decision-making process. Pressure was inflicted by administration on senior faculty from the targeted departments with the implication being that junior faculty from their departments would be fired if the senior professors didn’t retire. Also, a longstanding opportunity for faculty to go on a three-year phased retirement was eliminated under Flanagan’s administration. In the end, 36 faculty members retired, but since some of them were not in targeted departments, 25 faculty members were ultimately fired. Despite protests from local business leaders who claim the cuts will impair Maine’s economy, administrators have forged ahead with their plan. Many faculty, students, staff, and community members continue to dispute administration claims about financial insolvency, and they point to an independent analysis of the University of Maine System’s financial state conducted by university finances expert Howard Bunsis. Bunsis writes that USM "is in very strong financial condition, with solid reserves, annual operating cash surpluses, and a very high bond rating." Despite administration claims that these were difficult decisions made reluctantly during trying financial times, some people claim that the layoffs were arbitrary and capricious, an attempt to eliminate outspoken faculty critical of administration policies and actions.
At the same time as these faculty cuts were being made, USM administrators announced an initiative to rebrand the university as "Maine’s Metropolitan University"; this move has been criticized in the media as an expensive boondoggle whose projected cost of $925,000 is difficult to justify in times of alleged financial instability. No specifics have been given about what a "metropolitan" identity would mean for students, faculty, or the community—for example, how students’ educational experiences would change, how faculty job performance would be evaluated, etc.
But by not consulting beforehand with the Faculty Senate in a deliberative process, administrators made these decisions in violation of the Faculty Senate governance document and the faculty union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. All of the faculty layoffs were immediately challenged through grievances filed by the union against the University of Maine System; this process will end in binding arbitration, which started in late April 2015, is ongoing, and will come to a resolution in January 2016.
The American Association of University Professors has written to Interim President Flanagan that the organization is launching an investigation into whether the firings constitute an attack on tenure and academic freedom. According to a letter by AAUP Associate Secretary Anita Levy: "[t]he Association's executive director, after reviewing the information available to us concerning the matter, and after conferring with members of the Association's staff, has reached the conclusion that these actions at the University of Southern Maine have raised significant issues of academic freedom, tenure, and due process that are of basic concern to the academic community." An AAUP committee visited the university in January 2015 to interview administrators and faculty. It is AAUP's custom that once a report has been drafted and a final version authorized by the organization, investigating committee members make contact with administrators in an attempt to allow them to correct any actions that the committee deems infringements of academic freedom and tenure, so that the institution may avoid "the castigation of censure" (if such a recommendation emerges from an investigation). Recent cases of university administration attacks on tenure include those that occurred at Florida State University in 2009 and the University of Northern Iowa in 2012.
The University of Southern Maine community has had a continuing troubled relationship with its recent administrators. Selma Botman, Kalikow's immediate predecessor as USM president, resigned in the wake of an overwhelmingly negative result in a no-confidence vote by faculty in 2012 (194-88 in favor of "no confidence").
The University announced in March 2015 that Harvey Kesselman, Provost and Acting President of Stockton University, would become the USM President effective July 1, 2015. Kesselman backed out of the USM presidency when he was asked to remain at Stockton in the wake of that institution's troubled attempts to open an "island campus" in Atlantic City, NJ. USM then announced that Glenn Cummings, former speaker of the Maine House, would serve as the next president. Since in the wake of the controversy swirling around the university Zito Sartarelli had already withdrawn his name from consideration in February, Glenn Cummings remained the only finalist willing to accept the job. He will be the fourth president since 2011.
AAUP Investigative Report
On May 13, 2015, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors issued its investigative report on the University of Southern Maine.
The Conclusions (Section Five) of the report state that USM administrators acted in "flagrant violation" of principles of academic freedom and tenure as well as of claims of financial crisis. The Committee also found that administrators "acted in brazen disregard of key provisions of the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities." The final sentence reads: "The administration’s ignoring the faculty senate, repeatedly and apparently deliberately, is at odds with generally accepted norms of academic governance in American higher education." Here is the complete text of the Conclusions of the report:
1. In terminating the appointments of sixty of the 250 full-time faculty members and eliminating, reducing, or consolidating numerous academic programs, allegedly on financial grounds, the administration of the University of Southern Maine acted in flagrant violation of the joint 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and its requirement that when terminations are attributed to financial exigency, that condition must be demonstrably bona fide.
2. The administration’s actions disregarded the major provisions of Regulations 4c (Financial Exigency) and 4d (Discontinuance of Program or Department for Educational Reasons) of the Association’s derivative Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, with the sole exception of the provision on severance salary, where the collective bargaining agreement required that tenured faculty members notified of retrenchment continue to be paid for a year and a half.
3. The administration also acted in brazen disregard of key provisions of the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, despite reference to this fundamental document in the preambles to the governance constitution of USM. Moreover, the bylaws of the senate state that "the administrative officers of the university should consult with the faculty and rely on advice and assistance from the faculty in the performance of their administrative responsibilities, particularly where administrative officers are called upon to make decisions bearing directly on the central academic functions of the faculty." In its pattern of confining its communications with the faculty on programmatic matters to announcement of accomplished fact, the administration has ignored not only AAUP-supported governance standards but also its own published statements. The program closures at USM are not merely matters of bookkeeping; they impinge on matters of curriculum and instruction, for which the faculty should always have primary responsibility. The administration’s ignoring the faculty senate, repeatedly and apparently deliberately, is at odds with generally accepted norms of academic governance in American higher education.
USM President David Flanagan released a response to the report, which is available on the same webpage as the report itself and its appendix; Flanagan disputes the report’s findings that administrators violated principles of academic freedom and tenure.
A 50-page Appendix strongly refutes USM administration claims of financial difficulty in the University of Maine system. The Appendix concludes that "the system is in very strong financial condition, with strong reserves, cash flows, and a high bond rating" and "Overall, the University of Maine system is in strong financial condition. Cutting the core mission of the University cannot be supported as a response to unsupported deficit predictions."
The entire Conclusions section of the Appendix reads as follows:
The University of Southern Maine laid off twenty-five faculty members in the 2014–15 academic year. Based on a financial analysis of the University of Maine system and the University of Southern Maine, we do not believe that these layoffs were necessary.
First, from a pure financial perspective, the system is in very strong financial condition, with strong reserves, cash flows, and a high bond rating. It is not necessary for any layoffs to occur with this financial profile. The external bond ratings are very strong, which confirms the conclusion of financial strength.
Second, although the University of Southern Maine has experienced a decline in enrollment, the university is still generating revenues larger than expenses, and it still enjoys solid reserves. The system office allocates debt and reserves to the campuses, and it is not at all clear how these allocations occur. It is more appropriate to examine the system as a whole.
Third, at USM, there has been a virtual freeze on the hiring of new assistant professors for the last several years, and there has been a significant decline in the number of faculty. In fact, in percentage terms, the decline in faculty is greater than the decline in enrollment, credit hours, or sections offered.
Lastly, two news articles reinforce the conclusions above.
On April 2, 2012, the Maine Campus (student newspaper at the University of Maine at Orono) ran a story titled "U Maine Hands Out $2.7 Million in Non-faculty Pay Increases since 2006 Fiscal Year." This points to the fact that administrators are receiving raises at the same time that the number of faculty is being reduced across the system.
On April 24, 2013, the Pine Tree Watchdog (publication of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting) ran a revealing story headlined "University System Cuts while Reserve Fund Grows to $177m."
Overall, the University of Maine system is in strong financial condition. Cutting the core mission of the University cannot be supported as a response to unsupported deficit predictions.
The main part of the campus consists entirely of non-residential buildings. Many department offices are located around the perimeter of the campus center in converted multi-story homes as well as in the major buildings. The primary academic areas of the Portland campus are business, nursing, history, political science, economics, sociology, biology, physics, chemistry, math, English, psychology, media studies, modern and classical languages and literatures, American and New England studies. The Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library is the main library on the Portland Campus.
Gorham is home to most of the University's dormitories and competitive athletic facilities. The primary academic areas residing in Gorham are industrial technologies, engineering, art, music, theater, counseling and education, anthropology, geography, environmental sciences, and geosciences. McLellan House, built in 1773, was acquired by Gorham State College in 1966. It was initially converted into dormitories and later into office space. The Academy Building was built in 1803 and purchased by the university in 1878.
Residence Halls located on the Gorham campus are listed below:
- Woodward Hall
- Dickey and Wood Towers: Dickey and Wood Towers were opened in 1970 and formerly inaugurated in 1973. They are named after Edna Dickey, who taught history at the university from 1945–1972 as well as serving as Dean of Women from 1945–69 and Esther Wood, who taught social sciences from 1930–1973. USM has proposed mothballing the two towers, which currently have several vacant floors, to save $400,000 in 2014.
- Upton Hall and Hastings Hall: Upton Hall and the adjacent Hastings Hall are named after Ethelyn Upton and Mary Hastings, both of whom were prominent faculty. Upton Hall, home of the university healthcenter and Residential Life Office, was opened in 1960. Hastings Hall opened in 1968. Together, the complex can house up to 300 students.
- Anderson Hall
- Robie Andrews Hall: Robie Hall is named after former Maine Governor Frederick Robie, who served from 1883–1887. It was built in 1897 to replace a female-only dormitory which had burnt down in 1894.
- Phillipi Hall: Opened in 2001. Philippi hall also houses USM's new Pioneer Program.
- Upperclass Hall (completed fall of 2007)
The Lewiston-Auburn campus of the University of Southern Maine is the newest of the three campuses. The college on this campus is known as Lewiston-Auburn College (USM LAC). USM LAC is committed to being a national leader in interdisciplinary education, serving as a resource for the community, providing an outstanding educational experience for its students through degree programs that are responsive to changing cultural and workplace demands and that are available to a non-traditional and diverse student body.
Baccalaureate degree programs available at USM LAC are: Arts and Humanities, Leadership and Organizational Studies, Natural and Applied Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees are offered exclusively at Lewiston-Auburn College. The USM Nursing program (BS & RN to BS) from USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions are also offered at the Lewiston-Auburn campus.
Distance Learning locations
Undergraduate study is available in roughly 115 areas, and degrees conferred include the B.S, B.A, B.M., and B.F.A. Graduate study is available at the Masters and Doctoral level through the School of Business, School of Education and Human Development, Muskie School of Public Service, School of Social Work, School of Music, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Nursing, and the School of Environmental, Health, and Life Sciences.
The Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing is a graduate program in creative writing which enrolls approximately 100 students in four major genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and popular fiction.
The USM School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Less than 5% of business schools worldwide have earned this achievement.
Continuing education is available through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes.
The University of Southern Maine teams are known as the Huskies. The university sponsors the 23 sports at the NCAA Division III level. The majority of sports compete in the Little East Conference; wrestling competes as an independent Division III team, men's and women's ice hockey compete in the ECAC East.
Men's intercollegiate athletic teams
Women's intercollegiate athletic teams
Glenn Cummings was appointed President of the University on May 20, 2015 after Dr. Harvey Kesselman, who had accepted an appointment as President of the University to commence on July 1, 2015, agreed to remain as Acting President of Stockton University by request of the Stockton University Board of Trustees.
|Albee, SpencerSpencer Albee||ex-1997||American musician|
|Bennett, Richard A.Richard A. Bennett||2000||Chairman of the Maine Republican Party|||
|Brannigan, JosephJoseph Brannigan||??||Maine state legislator|
|Brennan, Michael F.Michael F. Brennan||??||Maine state legislator|
|Bruno (Maine politician), JosephJoseph Bruno (Maine politician)||1989||Minority Leader of the Maine House of Representatives, 2000–2004|||
|Casavant, AlanAlan Casavant||2004||Mayor of Biddeford, Maine, 2012–present|||
|Cassidy, VintonVinton Cassidy||??||Maine State Senator, 1992–1998|
|Chadbourne, GlennGlenn Chadbourne||??||American Artist|||
|Chappell, KateKate Chappell||1983||Founder of Tom's of Maine|||
|Chase, KathleenKathleen Chase||1991||Maine State Representative from the 147th district|||
|Cleveland (politician), JohnJohn Cleveland (politician)||1982||State Senator from Maine's 15th District|||
|Crowley (Survivor contestant), RobertRobert Crowley (Survivor contestant)||??||Winner of the American television show Survivor: Gabon|||
|Currier, JohnJohn Currier||1975||28th Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard|||
|Davis (politician), GeraldGerald Davis (politician)||??||Maine State Senator from the 11th District, 2008–2010|||
|Diamond, WilliamWilliam Diamond||1972||Maine Secretary of State, 1989–1997|||
|Dion (politician), MarkMark Dion (politician)||??||Maine State Representative, 2010–present|
|Dodge, DonDon Dodge||??||Developer advocate for Google|
|Dudley, Benjamin F.Benjamin F. Dudley||1999||Maine House of Representatives, 1998–2006|||
|Espling, EleanorEleanor Espling||1994||Maine House of Representatives, 2010–present|||
|Haskell, AnneAnne Haskell||??||Maine state legislator|
|Hamlin, Simon M.Simon M. Hamlin||??||U.S. Congressman|
|Holmes, HannahHannah Holmes||1988||Journalist|||
|Ingalls, Jr., Wilbur R.Wilbur R. Ingalls, Jr.||??||Architect|
|Jones, KevanKevan Jones||??||British Member of Parliament|
|Langley, BrianBrian Langley||??||Maine state legislator|
|Lowry, LoisLois Lowry||1972||Novelist|
|Marshall, David A.David A. Marshall||??||Artist and Portland city councilor|
|Martin, Matthew QuinnMatthew Quinn Martin||2010||Actor, writer, director and musician|
|Marvin, Jean GinnJean Ginn Marvin||??||Maine State Legislator|
|Pingree, ChellieChellie Pingree||??||U.S. Congresswoman|
|Robinson (wrestler), LukeLuke Robinson (wrestler)||2008||Professional wrestler|
|Russell, DianeDiane Russell||??||Maine state legislator|
|Shalhoub, TonyTony Shalhoub||1977||Actor|
|Stevens, Raymond C.Raymond C. Stevens||1986||Research Scientist|
|St.Jarre, KevinKevin St.Jarre||2010||Writer|
|Sullivan (politician), NancyNancy Sullivan (politician)||??||Maine State Legislator|
|Turner, CleonCleon Turner||??||Massachusetts State Legislator|
|Wallace, John BruceJohn Bruce Wallace||??||Philosopher and artist|
|Lewis, Bonnie TitcombBonnie Titcomb Lewis||??||State legislator|
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