Regarding the Portland Press Herald’s front-page report “USM president proposes deep, ‘painful and disruptive’ cuts” (March 15): The Department of American and New England Studies looks slated for elimination.

I received a doctorate in American Studies in 2010 from the University of Maryland, placing my cultural study of women and aging in Maine (where better than perhaps Florida?).

I looked to New England Studies for some resources and was inspired and informed by the work of University of Southern Maine Professor of American and New England Studies Dr. Ardis Cameron, discovering her work in the national journal American Quarterly. I purchased “Imagining New England,” a book by USM Professor of American and New England Studies Dr. Joseph Conforti. I can’t imagine Maine being without New England Studies or these distinguished professors.

USM President Theodora Kalikow speaks of USM creating a unique niche and identity relative to other University of Maine System campuses. How about quality academics and the national niche USM’s American and New England Studies department already possesses?

For more than 30 years we lived in Maryland and only last May made a permanent move to Maine.

Judith Church Tydings

South Thomaston