Interim University of Southern Maine President David Flanagan announced a new management team Wednesday, including a new provost and a new short-term position created just to address the school’s financial crisis.
Flanagan took the reins at USM in late July, pledging to stabilize the campus after years of cuts and ongoing financial problems fueled by falling enrollment, a tuition freeze and flat state funding. Earlier this year, USM had a $14 million gap in its $134 million budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. The campus already faces a $12.5 million gap in the next budget, for the fiscal year beginning in July 2015.
Flanagan has pledged to close the gap and present a balanced budget to the trustees in January, so big changes and cuts are expected in the coming months.
Flanagan named Joseph McDonnell, the dean of College of Management and Human Service, as provost and vice president for academic affairs. He will be paid $175,000 a year.
Tom Dunne, an instructor at the Muskie School of Public Policy and a former partner at consulting firm Accenture, will take a one-year, $20,000 appointment to the newly created position of executive director of initiatives, aimed at dealing with the fiscal crisis. He was also the first executive director of Dirigo Health Agency.
Other changes include:
• Chris Quint is the new USM executive director of public affairs. Quint has been executive director of the Maine State Employees Association since 2010, and before that he served five years as the senior public affairs director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. he will be paid $99,500, slightly more than his predecessor.
• Chief Human Resource Officer Martha Freeman will also be chief of staff, with no salary change.
Flanagan said consolidating roles and duties among the senior leadership team saves USM $134,500 in salary costs, but a USM spokeswoman said they could not immediately provide salary information for the individuals involved in the changes.
“When I took on this role I set out to assemble a strong and experienced team who shared my commitment to lead USM out of this current crisis,” Flanagan said in a statement. “This newly constructed leadership team is ready to get to work to implement a new model for USM – one that is leaner, smaller both in employment and footprint, more agile, less bureaucratic, competitively priced and offering greater flexibility for students.”
Former President Theodore Kalikow now has a one-year appointment as an acting vice chancellor at the system office, working on community outreach. The former provost, Michael Stevenson, stepped down at the same time as Kalikow and now has a one-year appointment as a special assistant in the system office, working on an overhaul of academic offerings systemwide.
Staff Writer Noel K. Gallagher can be contacted at 791-6387 or at: