Recent grads discuss their level of career preparation post-USM

Posted on April 14, 2014 by dakotawing, Kirsten Sylvain, and Sidney Dritz 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. […]

#USMFuture pledges to keep it up

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Meaghan LaSala spoke at Thursday’s rally before the group marches down Congress Street.

#USMFuture protesters were thrilled Friday when President Theo Kalikow reversed all twelve faculty cuts made in mid-March, but the protests’ organizers assured the Free Press, even with summer break quickly approaching, they have no plans to let up on protest efforts. LaSala said that while the members of the movement are excited for the decision […]

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 […]

Spring enrollment drop surprises administrators

Posted on April 07, 2014 by matthewgraeff in News

Enrollment numbers for spring 2014 have come in lower than anticipated by the USM administration, exacerbating already difficult financial circumstances. The 5.3 percent drop in enrollment between this spring and last spring means that, even with the emergency budget cuts, USM will bring in $1.5 million less than projected by the fiscal year 2014 budget. […]

CAHS talks consolidation, considers proposals to reorganize

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

English and women and gender studies professor Lucinda Cole objected to the proposed reorganization plan based on several points, including contract considerations and the subject of peer review.

Retrenchment and program cuts aren’t the only changes in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. On March 28, the CAHS faculty debated a proposed reorganization of the college. On March 26, Provost Michael Stevenson sent out a letter to the deans of all of the colleges at USM, asking them to discuss ways […]

Colleges cope with retrenchment of faculty

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

Student Body President Kelsea Dunham (right) discussed her involvement in the Direction Package Advisory Board's vision committee during a meeting of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty.

Since President Theo Kalikow announced the layoffs of twelve faculty members on Friday, March 21, the colleges of the retrenched faculty have responded by holding a series of meetings. On March 26, a group of students organized a meeting about the effects of the retrenchment on the Muskie School, and on March 28, responses to […]

Students for #USMFuture demand funding reform for UMaine System

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Over 200 students protested recent faculty cuts at the law building on Monday, March 24.

Two weeks after over two hundred students stormed the law building to protest faculty layoffs, the #USMFuture movement has broadened its focus and is looking to gain support from other Maine universities and the Portland community. On Tuesday, #USMFuture supporters will take to the streets of Portland and march between Monument and Congress squares to […]

Students push back against proposed program cuts

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

Chief Student Affairs Officer Susan Campbell (left) met with Recreation and Leisure studies department chair David Jones and students in the program to coordinate a reaction to the proposed cuts.

The difference between the faculty members who were laid off last Friday and the four programs President Kalikow proposed cutting entirely the week before is that the four degree programs are only proposed cuts, which won’t be evaluated by the board of trustees until July. The four proposed degree programs Kalikow proposed cutting are recreation […]

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 […]