PORTLAND – The Faculty Senate of the University of Southern Maine voted Friday to support a restructuring plan that will consolidate eight schools and colleges into five, and eliminate three academic dean’s positions.

The plan is supposed to save USM as much as $750,000 a year, and does not include any reduction in faculty or class offerings.

Now the plan will be submitted to the University of Maine System board of trustees for consideration at its meeting May 23 and 24. If approved, the USM reorganization plan would go into a “year-long implementation phase,” said Robert Caswell, a university spokesman.

The vote was 25 to 17 in favor. Though the vote was advisory, university officials said it was important to get faculty support for the reorganization.

Jeannine Uzzi, an associate professor of classics and vice chair of the faculty senate, said that even though 17 faculty members voted against the plan, there was no organized opposition.

“Academics have lots of strong and different opinions. Some wanted four colleges, some weren’t crazy about where they’d be placed,” said Uzzi. “But there wasn’t any one or two main things people were opposed to.”

USM President Selma Botman wanted faculty support for the plan and attended the vote Friday afternoon at USM’s Luther Bonney Auditorium in Portland.

“I feel the president understands the importance of faculty support for whatever she does,” said Uzzi.

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 Hu- man Development

Muskie School of Public Service

College of Nursing and Health Professions

Lewiston-Auburn College

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 Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]