September 11, 2013

Maine university system paid former USM president $363,000 for report

The 39-page report addresses recruitment of foreign students, but the university system contracted with a company to draw students from overseas before the report was completed.

By Nell Gluckman / Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Selma Botman, a former president of the University of Southern Maine, was hired by the University of Maine System to produce a report about recruiting foreign students.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

Related Documents

Five-year plan to recruit international students to UMS campuses

Page, the chancellor, said he wanted Botman to outline a plan before the system committed to any programs.

“We needed a strategy before we went out and spent a lot of money,” Page said. “We didn’t have a picture of how it would all work.”

“It was worth it, given that we had a contractual obligation” to Botman, said Gregory Johnson, a member of the board of trustees and chair of the academic and student affairs committee.

“I think it reaffirms, in some ways, the work we were already doing. And now that can be refined,” Johnson said.

“They needed something for her to do,” said Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine in Orono. “My question would be, well, will that be used for future reference or will it just gather dust?”

In addition to the rationale for recruiting international students and the list of recruitment agencies, Botman’s report included a five-year business plan, a rationale for using recruiting agents, a discussion of the tuition international students would pay, examples of how the university might phrase promotional materials, a three-page list of international high schools and other data.

In the business plan, Botman estimated that implementing her strategy would cost the Maine system $287,500 per year. With her projected enrollment of 579 international students, at the end of five years the university system would see a $31 million increase in revenue.

“This would bring increased prominence to the state and much-needed resources to the university,” the report said.

Though she was given a $20,000 budget for out-of-state travel, Botman only used $1,236.41. She went to New York City to meet with administrators from the State University of New York, a leader in international student recruitment, and to the University of Northern Arizona in Phoenix to meet with their vice provost for international education.

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting is a nonpartisan, non-profit news service based in Hallowell. It can be reached via email at and can be found on the web at

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)