PORTLAND — The faculty senate at the University of Southern Maine will vote Friday on a proposed reorganization plan that’s designed to streamline administration and save money.

The proposal would reduce the university’s academic structure from eight to five schools or colleges and save as much as $750,000 per year on administration.

The 60-member senate will meet at 2 p.m. in the Talbot Lecture Hall of Luther Bonney Auditorium.

USM President Selma Botman formally accepted the proposal earlier this month. It was produced by a design team of administrators and faculty members who were appointed by Botman to find a way to increase the university’s economic sustainability, academic distinction and student experience.

“This new organizational superstructure increases opportunities for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary exchanges and collaboration,” Botman said. “It marries the liberal arts and our professional programs, and it supports undergraduate and graduate education throughout the university.”

The senate’s vote is largely advisory. Botman will then submit a proposal to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees for action at its meeting on May 23 and 24. If approved, the proposal would be implemented starting this fall.

Faculty senate leaders didn’t return calls for comment.

The proposed reorganization would eliminate three academic deans, each of whom is paid about $210,000 a year in salary and benefits and has an administrative budget of $40,000.

The proposal doesn’t say which deans would be cut. Some associate dean positions also may be eliminated and some administrators may be given salary increases to take on additional duties as a result of the reorganization, according to the written proposal.

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 Human Development; Muskie School of Public Service; College of Nursing and Health Professions; Lewiston-Auburn College; and University of Maine School of Law.

Lewiston-Auburn College and the law school wouldn’t be affected by the proposed 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.



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