PORTLAND – The Faculty Senate at the University of Southern Maine will vote Friday on a proposed reorganization that’s designed to streamline administration and save money.

The proposal would reduce the university’s academic structure from eight to five schools or colleges and save as much as $750,000 per year on administration.

The 60-member Senate will meet at 2 p.m. in the Talbot Lecture Hall of Luther Bonney Auditorium.

USM President Selma Botman formally accepted the proposal earlier this month. It was produced by a team of administrators and faculty members, appointed by Botman, that was asked to find a way to enhance USM’s economic sustainability, academic distinction and student experience.

“This new organizational superstructure increases opportunities for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exchanges and collaboration,” Botman said.

“It marries the liberal arts and our professional programs, and it supports undergraduate and graduate education throughout the university.”

The Senate’s vote is largely advisory, but Botman said she understands that the faculty’s support and engagement is necessary for USM or any other reorganization to succeed.

Botman plans to submit the proposal to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees for action at its meeting May 23-24. If approved, the plan will be implemented this fall.

Faculty Senate leaders didn’t return calls for comment.

The proposed reorganization would eliminate three academic deans, each of whom is paid about $210,000 a year in salary and benefits and has an administrative budget of $40,000.

The proposal doesn’t say which deans would be cut.

It does say that some associate dean positions may be eliminated and some administrators may be given salary increases if they take on additional duties because of the reorganization.

USM has eight schools and colleges: School of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology; College of Arts and Sciences; School of Business; College of Education and Human Development; Muskie School of Public Service; College of Nursing and Health Professions; Lewiston-Auburn College; and University of Maine School of Law.

Lewiston-Auburn College and the law school wouldn’t be affected by the reorganization.

The other six would be reorganized into three colleges centered around science and math, communication and culture, and public service, business and graduate education.

 

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

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