Like many Mainers, I have been following the unfolding story of the University of Maine System’s hiring practices for its executive positions.

It certainly would appear, but the jury is still out, that political cronyism on the part of former Gov. John Baldacci’s administration and former University of Maine System Chancellor Richard Pattenaude was the standard and not the exception.

Even though this was one of the lead stories in the May 3 Portland Press Herald, I think that there is an even bigger story that should be explored by current UMS Chancellor James Page and our Legislature, and that is the number of system executives. How many presidents, vice presidents of administration, vice presidents of finance, executive directors of facilities and untold numbers of other executives do we need to run our university system?

I think that the general public would be very surprised to learn how many members belong to UMaine’s exclusive executive club. Why do we need to duplicate executive positions at every one of our university organizations?

Mainers should be outraged at the endless number of executives, both because it is wasteful tax spending and also causes higher tuition for our students.

I think Page should give the UMaine system a top-down review in all areas, but especially in the number of executives it really takes to run this organization. It is time to consolidate executive positions across the University of Maine System.

Tom Cryan lives in North Yarmouth.