Late yesterday, after meetings with both Dr. Michael Laliberte and me, the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) Faculty Senate passed resolutions demanding that the recently concluded presidential search that resulted in the appointment of Dr. Laliberte be failed and expressing no confidence in me as chancellor. I take this as a matter of immediate urgency. The email communicating the resolutions to me is attached (PDF).
Shared governance and faculty voice are absolutely critical in a healthy relationship between faculty and university and System leaders. I expect to discuss the matters in the resolutions with the University of Maine System (UMS) Board of Trustees Executive Committee as soon as possible.
Yesterday, before the Faculty Senate voted, I apologized to them and listened to their concerns, which were loud and clear.
I reiterate my regret and sincere apology to the UMA and UMS communities. Yesterday morning, I also informed the UMA Presidential Search Committee that we will revise our search policies for president and provost positions immediately to require a declaration from candidates as to whether they have ever been the subject of a no-confidence vote.
I am sorry that my actions and decisions have led the UMA faculty to this vote of no confidence. I understand how serious a concern this is for the university and the System, and I will work with everyone at UMA to restore confidence in me.
My commitment to the success of the University of Maine System in its role to serve the people of Maine with affordability and excellence remains steadfast.
About the University of Maine System
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System (UMS) unites seven Maine’s distinctive public universities, comprising 10 campuses and numerous centers, in the common purpose of providing quality higher education while delivering on its traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.
In 2020 UMS became the first and only statewide enterprise of public higher education in the country to transition to a unified accreditation for the system. Much different than a merger or consolidation, unified accreditation is a new operating model for the University of Maine System that removes the primary barrier to inter-institutional collaboration.
A comprehensive public institution of higher education, UMS serves more than 30,000 students annually and is supported by the efforts of more than 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 3,000 regular full-time and part-time staff, and a complement of part-time temporary (adjunct) faculty.
Reaching more than 500,000 people annually through educational and cultural offerings, the University of Maine System also benefits from more than two-thirds of its alumni population residing within the state; more than 123,000 individuals.
The System consists of seven main campuses: The University of Maine (UMaine), including its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMM); the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA); the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF); the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI); and the University of Southern Maine (USM). The System also includes a UMA campus in Bangor, USM campuses in Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn, the University of Maine School of Law, and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.