By Melissa Fraser, Staff Writer
Originally founded in 1878, USM has experienced an evolution of mergers, name changes and expansions. What was once a small institution of higher education has now developed into a public, comprehensive university, according to the USM website.
A timeline of president’s traces the university growth from the beginning of USM to where we are today, likely to face a new name once more. In the spirit of President’s Day, we wanted to inform students on the history of USM’s residents.
Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from University of Texas in Austin
Doctorate from the University of Michigan
A Texas native, Dr. N. Edd Miller, came to the University of Maine Portland-Gorham (UMPG) after serving as President to the University of Nevada, Reno, according to the USM website. During his tenure he focused on expanding the existing programs in business, nursing and education. Miller also added two specializations to the university, social welfare and the arts. The University prospered throughout his time as President, and he took on the challenge of creating one university out of the Portland and Gorham campuses.
“The future for the University is a bright one, and the kind of service this University can give to the people of this state and of Northern New England is unlimited.”
-N. Edd Miller, Reflection 1975
Kenneth W. Allen
Bachelor’s Degree for Wheaton College
Master’s from the University of Maine
Doctorate from Rice University
In 1978, Allen stepped in as acting President and pushed forward with the university name change and consolidation, from University of Maine Portland-Gorham, to University of Southern Maine (USM). According to the USM website, Allen worked for University of Maine System (UMS) for 25 years, the majority of that time he spent as a professor at the University of Maine. Allen died in March of 2014.
Robert L. Woodbury
Bachelor’s Degree from Amherst College
Doctorate in American Studies from Yale University
As USM President, Woodbury assisted in creating the Muskie Institution of Public Affairs, according to the USM website. The Robert L. Woodbury Campus Center, that houses the Office of Student Activities, Cafeteria, lounges and meeting rooms was dedicated in his name on September 18, 1985. He established the Robert L. Woodbury International Scholarship Fund in 1998 that is annually available to a USM student that studies abroad. He went on to serve the UMS as chancellor from 1986 to 1993. Woodbury ran a campaign for Governor in 1994 which was unsuccessful. According to the 1980 USM yearbook, students described Woodbury as a very personable man with a passion for faculty achievements. He was a lover of classical music, good french food, tennis and sailing. Woodbury died September 12, 2009.
“Look, the easier way clearly would be to take only the best students. The harder way, which is our way, is to bring out the best in every student that we take—and we take most of them.”
- Robert L. Woodbury, Pride & Promise
Patricia R. Plante
Bachelor’s Degree from St. Joseph’s College
Master’s from St. Michael’s College
Doctorate from Boston University
Post-Doctorate Studies from the University of Paris
Plante was the first female president of USM, a Maine native and an avid Red Sox fan, according to the USM website. She made “notable efforts to advance the Metropolitan University idea,” which involved clearly defining the educational mission and new identity of USM. Her goals included increasing academic offerings, improving enrollment rates and expanding library resources, according to an internal newsletter, the USM Currents. During her time served, USM hit an enrollment record of 10,000 students and the Lewiston-Auburn campus was added.
“It is true that a university president is a generalist. To be a full-time president is to be a part-time academic, part-time politician, part-time financier, part-time public speaker—and more. But that condition is precisely what constitutes both the fun and the challenge.”
-Patricia Plante, USM Currents
Richard L. Pattenaude
Bachelor’s Degree from San Jose State University
Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Colorado
Pattenaude spent sixteen years in tenure at USM. During his time, he expanded the curriculum, added the Common Core and upgraded the facilities on the Portland and Gorham campuses, according to the USM website. He went on to serve as the UMS chancellor. According to the USM Currents, he actively promoted quality enhancement and sought out the thoughts and opinions of the USM community, campus groups and committees.
“How does a good university become a great university? An unflagging defense of academic and personal freedom…a dedication to learning, teaching, discovering…an innate desire for rigor and quality…and a sense of duty and responsiveness to our society and community.”
-Richard L. Pattenaude, USM Currents
Joseph S. Wood
Bachelor’s Degree from Middlebury College
Master’s from University of Vermont
Doctorate in Geography from Pennsylvania State University
Wood served as an interim President for one year as the search for Pattenaude’s predecessor continued, according to a press release from USM. Wood had seven years of experience serving a the USM Provost before filling the temporary role, and he now serves as Provost to the University of Baltimore in Maryland.
“USM has faculty, staff and community volunteers of extraordinary quality and commitment. My goal is to focus our efforts so that we do not lose momentum on initiatives which will broaden support for, and appreciation of, this university’s excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to Maine communities.”
- Joseph Wood, Press Release
Bachelor’s Degree from Brandeis University
MPhil from Oxford University
Masters and Doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University
According to the USM website, Botman’s four-year tenure was spent increasing USM’s exposure worldwide to generate a high international student population. USM faced financial hardships while Botman served as president, which raised concerns for students, faculty and the USM community, according to a story published in 2012 from the Free Press. Botman resigned from her five-year contract a year early and went on to serve as special assistant to the chancellor on global education for her final year, according to the Free Press.
“I want you to graduate! I want you to have the kind of intellectual experience that you need, and that will prepare you for a lifetime of satisfaction and enjoyment.”
-Selma Botman, The Free Press
Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College
Sc.M in Philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Doctorate in Philosophy from Boston University
A Massachusetts native, Kalikow served as the University of Maine – Farmington President for 18 years, “retiring in 2012, at which time she was asked to take over as President of USM,” according to the USM website. Throughout her tenure, Kalikow was an active advocate for community and civic engagement at USM.
“Everyone here is a teacher. Whatever your job is, serving the food or cleaning up or teaching or advising or working in an office or whatever it is, what you do affects the students and teaches them how a high-functioning organization should behave and what it should look like and how it should treat folks. Everyone has a part in this, and everyone here can and does make more connections with students than we even know.”
-Theo Kalikow, The Free Press
Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard College
Masters Degree from King’s College at University of London
Doctorate from Boston College Law School
A Maine native, Flanagan was a member of the UMS Board of Trustees from 1986-1995, and served as the chairman from 1991-1992. According to the USM website, “his tenure brought major changes and cuts during a tumultuous period in USM history.”
“We have to keep our costs down while we face the realities of this revenue situation if we’re going to make USM more efficient, accessible and affordable to the Maine people. I think if we can control our costs, overall we’ll attract more students, and we’ll do a better job of serving the state of Maine. That’s got to be a primary focus for us in these challenging times.”
-David Flanagan, The Free Press
Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio Wesleyan University
Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brown University
Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania
A former speaker from the Maine House of Representatives, Cummings has a diverse professional background. Cummings came into his USM tenure during a time of heavy budget cuts and declining enrollment. Over the course of four years, he has turned a deficit into a cash reserve and increased enrollment by five percent, according to the USM website. Providing students with real-world clinical and academic experience is one of Cummings main objectives, along with decreasing the overall cost to students through scholarships, according to an interview from the Portland Press Herald. Cummings has proposed a name change for the university to become University of Maine – Portland, in an effort to draw more out of state students to Portland’s positive small city reputation, according to his interview with the Press Herald.
“Portland is a place that people want to be. People from around the country and around the world want to come here and they are very interested in being part of the cultural and civic life in Portland, our students are no exception to that. Our hope is to build a campus where we have a real sense community on the Portland campus.”
-Glenn Cummings, MPBN