Educators and local businesses discuss plans for USM’s metropolitan redesign

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Francis Flisiuk in News

Richard Barringer (right),  anEmeritus professor and chair of the Metropolitan University Steering Group listens to ideas on how to implement a metropolitan university vision from  members of the USM and Portland community.

A new group has been formed at USM in an effort to implement USM’s plan to become a premiere urban metropolitan university and redefine the university’s mission, an undertaking that President Theodora Kalikow has said might take years to complete. The goal of the Metropolitan University Steering Group is to find ways to broaden the […]

Student profile: Anna Chiu, commencement speaker

Posted on April 28, 2014 by matthewgraeff in News

USM Senior Anna Chiu, the student speaker at the USM commencement, hopes to inspire graduating students to keep USM values of inclusiveness and understanding in mind as they head out into the world. Chiu is a health sciences major with a minor in biology. She transferred to USM from Simmons College, where she was a […]

SoPoBooks swap crosses the bridge to USM, offers book-swapping for students

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Krysteana Scribner in News

Saman Baghestani has proposed an alternative to purchasing and selling books for college students in South Portland. It’s working so well, he’s bringing it across the bridge to USM. Baghestani came up with the idea for a book-swap website, which he named the South Portland Book Exchange––or With the help of his computer programmer […]

Student health insurance to be required come next semester

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Lisa Belanger explained next year’s changes to the student health insurance plan to the Student Senate at their April 18 meeting.

The University of Maine System will require proof of health insurance before students enroll in classes beginning next fall. The new Student Health Insurance Policy will kick in this August and eligible students will automatically be enrolled in the program and have the $942 annual premium cost added to their student account. “There is a […]

Director of public affairs Bob Caswell to retire after 34 years at USM

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Krysteana Scribner in News

Bob Caswell attended a media training day hosted by the Free Press in April 2013, where he took part in a mock-press conference in which the participants began to gather information for a fictional news story.

USM’s executive director of public affairs Robert Caswell has announced that he will be retiring this June after working at USM for over 34 years. He responded to an inquiry from the Free Press reminiscing on his time at the university, and talked about some of his fondest memories. After graduating USM in 1974 with […]

Senate tables reduced budget, will continue to work on it

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Sam Hill in News

Elizabeth Martin (right) and Jason Blanco (left) are the clerk and treasurer respectively at last Friday’s Student Senate meeting. Blanco asked that the budget be tabled soon after the meeting began.

The semester may be coming to an end, but the Student Government Association is still working on their biggest task–– passing next year’s budget. Due to low enrollment at the university, there were less student activity funds for the senate to work with than the previous semester. An emergency meeting to balance the budget took […]

Staff layoffs put on hold until May 31

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

USM library employee Adinah Barnett spoke at last Friday’s #USMFuture rally in support of staff members facing layoffs at the university. Barnett addressed the budget crisis which prompted the past few months’ flurry of cuts, saying, “There’s plenty of money. It’s just all going up, and it’s not coming back down.” Barnett then agreed with previous speaker and student Jules Purnell, “I do agree that cuts should come from the top.”

A student rally last Friday in support of USM staff facing layoffs attached a few faces to the rumors of shadowy eliminations of USM staff members as a part of the university’s most recent attempt to cut costs. Though the majority of the faculty retrenchments and eliminations announced as part of the same initiative have […]

Retrenchment Retrospective: Dean Kuzma explains criteria for cuts

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Sidney Dritz in News

Lyn Kuzma, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in her office last October.

Though the retrenchments and position discontinuances that were announced last March have since been rescinded, the process by which faculty members were selected for layoffs is still seen as unclear. One of the reasons that understanding the process is important, according to Dean Lynn Kuzma of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, is […]

Honors morale high as funding drops and program reviews

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Kirsten Sylvain in News

Kyle Robinson, a sophomore economics major and honors student, explains some of the advantages of being a part of the honors program at the program’s meeting last Thursday to discuss the program with reviewers. Robinson said he believes the staff layoff in the program will effect the atmosphere of the honors office.

The time has come again, after more than a decade, for the USM honors program to be reviewed, and according to program director Nancy Artz, the timing is right. “It would be fair to say that USM’s fiscal reality in recent years and future budget projections affected the timing of the review,” she said. The […]

Student profile: A commuter for community

Posted on April 21, 2014 by dakotawing in News

As a USM freshman, Brendan Butler is a brother in the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, a member of two active bands and organizing a dance marathon that will take place in Gorham next November.

Brendan Butler is first year student with a lot going on. He has not yet declared a major, but is already a member of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity, is a part of two bands, and has participated in many shows and community service activities. He has aspirations to make changes at USM and wants […]