Recent grads discuss their level of career preparation post-USM

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Sidney Dritz, Kirsten Sylvain, and dakotawing in News

Recent graduate Phil Shelley (right) has been active in efforts organized by the #USMFuture group to oppose faculty cuts and call for funding reform throughout Maine’s public university system. The photo above was taken last Thursday at a rally in Monument Square, Portland, which culminated in a march. Shelley told the Free Press that he was concerned that the recent cuts could devalue a USM degree.

One of the arguments made by protesters of the recently retracted faculty layoffs and the still slated for elimination program is that such cuts will significantly devalue a USM degree. “That’s the sort of thing that I worry about as a reality as I apply for grad school,” said Philip Shelley, who graduated in December. […]

Future remains unclear after Kalikow cuts back on cuts

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

Last Thursday, #USMFuture organized a march to get momentum going against cuts after vacation. The next day, President Kalikow announced that she had decided to reverse the non-program-wide faculty cuts.

President Theo Kalikow surprised everyone at Friday’s Faculty Senate with the sudden reversal of all 12 of the controversial March faculty cuts, but for some, the celebration was cut short when Kalikow said later to reporters that by October, the positions of the once-retrenched faculty may be back on chopping block. Kalikow made the last-minute […]

President Kalikow surprises at senate with a reversal of all 12 faculty layoffs

Posted on April 11, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

President Theo Kalikow at the first Direction Package meeting in November. The group worked to proposed a plan for defining the university's vision and tackling the looming $14 million shortfall. Since that time, Kalikow and Provost Michael Stevenson proposed the retrenchment of 12 faculty members. In a senate meeting today, the president reversed that decision.

President Theo Kalikow surprised those in attendance at today’s Faculty Senate meeting when she announced a reversal of all 12 of the faculty cuts that Provost Michael Stevenson had made in March. She made the decision at the meeting, she said. It was so sudden a decision, she noted, that the previously retrenched faculty had […]

Students continue to organize after denial of bill at state house

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

After the press conference at 12:30 p.m. at the state house, students made their way around the state house, looking for law makers to talk to about their bill, sponsored by Rep. Ben Chipman (I-Portland). Here they spoke to a representative from Senate President Justin Alfond's office. The bill will go through legislative council tomorrow, where lawmakers will decide whether it moves on to the next stage. Student here carried with them flyers that read "Stand in Solidarity for #UMainefuture," as groups have sprung up not only in USM but also in Orono and Farmington to protest recent cuts across the system.

Update: March 27, 6:27 p.m. Students who proposed a bill to analyze the distribution of funding in the UMaine System were disappointed today to hear news that the legislative council had denied advancement of the legislation, but they promptly responded that they would use the result to further mobilize and engage students. Six voted against […]

Over two hundred students protest university budget cuts, sit-in

Posted on March 24, 2014 by Sam Hill, and Kirsten Sylvain in News

Over a hundred USM students are protesting outside of the law building where the president and provost's offices are located.

Update: 9:00 p.m. After nine hours of demonstrating, starting at the Law Building and moving into the Woodbury Campus Center, all but one of the protesters had left for the night. Update: 4:00 p.m. A smaller group of protesters remain at the Woodbury Campus Center, but they told the group they plan to be in […]

Parry: USM pulled out of rip-tide but tossed into furnace by admin actions

Posted on March 23, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in Letter to the Editor, Perspectives

Dear Provost Stevenson and Board, Now I’m no economics or mathematics major, but it seems to me that by dramatically reducing the size of the faculty (and subsequently the amount of courses offered) the outcome is obviously going to be fewer students enrolled. An individual was speaking to me and others the other day about […]

Student senate votes no confidence in USM president and council

Posted on March 22, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

Board of Trustees representative Alex Greenlee addressed a group of students, alumni and faculty gathered in the Woodbury Campus Center. He explained why he thought a simpler resolution was better to present at the Sunday/Monday BOT meeting in Machias.

The student senate voted no confidence tonight in President Theo Kalikow and her council following a series of cuts on Friday. More than 20 students gathered tonight at the Woodbury Campus Center in Portland to help the 13 present student senators draft a proposal that will be taken to the upcoming Sunday and Monday Board […]

More than 100 gather in law building to protest faculty cuts

Posted on March 21, 2014 by Sam Hill, and Kirsten Sylvain in News

Students gathered outside of the provost's office on the 7th floor of the law building to protest cuts to faculty.

A group of more than 100 students have gathered on the 7th floor of the law building this morning to protest termination of faculty. More than 10 faculty members are set to have one-on-one meetings with Provost Michael Stevenson this morning and some think it will end in notification of their terminations. “I’m here because […]

Provost calls meetings for the morning, lay-offs of 11 to 12 faculty could follow

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

Provost Michael Stevenson speaking with faculty about their concerns when the budget cuts for last fiscal year were released last spring. Stevenson has called meetings for tomorrow with several faculty members for what many think will end in lay-offs.

Tomorrow morning more than 10 USM faculty members will climb to the seventh floor office of the provost for back-to-back meetings that, some think, will end in notification of their terminations. Word spread quickly through social networks and between colleagues and students today that the provost called the meetings for tomorrow morning to lay-off additional […]

USM mourns the loss of three students

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

University officials will hold two community gatherings Thursday for students, faculty, and staff following the deaths of three USM students that occurred in the past two weeks. The news of the death of Brandon Hodges, a freshman on track to study engineering, was sent to students in a campus-wide email on Feb. 21. Hodges was […]