Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Voting closed for no-confidence vote, awaiting results

Voting in the Law Building on the Portland campus closed today at 4 p.m. for the vote of no confidence in President Botman.
Paul Koenig | The Free Press
Voting in the Law Building on the Portland campus closed today at 4 p.m. for the vote of no confidence in President Botman.

Posted on May 02, 2012 in News
By Noah Hurowitz

Voting closed at 4 p.m. today for the faculty-wide vote of no confidence in University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman with results set to be announced later tonight.

Faculty began casting their ballots yesterday at locations in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston. Ronald Schmidt, a professor of political science and the media contact for the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, said the counting committee expects to announce the data by 8 p.m. Schmidt told The Free Press this afternoon that he doesn’t know the number of ballots cast but anecdotal evidence suggested a large percentage of faculty had participated.

“When I went to vote the box was full,” he said. “There’s a lot of intense feelings about this, so I’m not surprised.”

The committee charged with counting the votes has members appointed by the major stake holders in the issue. President Botman appointed Martha Freeman, chief human resources officer, the senate executive committee appointed professor of economics Michael Hillard, and the faculty petitioners who triggered the no-confidence vote appointed professor of physics Jerry LaSala. Professor of law Chris Knott will join the committee as an overseer.

Once the ballots are counted, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will submit the data to University of Maine System Chancellor James Page and the board of trustees who will interpret the results. There has been disagreement over how to read the end results, because the Faculty Senate bylaws state a referendum must receive support from two-thirds of all faculty in order to represent the will of the faculty, while Robert’s Rules of Order, which the Senate follows, calls for two-thirds of only those who vote.

Schmidt said the Executive Committee doesn’t wish to involve itself in interpreting the results.

“We see our task as making sure the vote is transparent and legitimate,” he said. “We’re not setting ourselves up as the interpreters of the dispute in the governance documents. The board of trustees can decide for themselves.”


Stay tuned for updates as the results are released.

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