I write to thank the editors of the Portland Press Herald for their call to the University of Maine System to undertake a comprehensive, independent study of the possible benefits of campus closures or consolidation scenarios. Might it make sense to sell Southern Maine Community College’s valuable oceanfront property and move SMCC to the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus?

USM’s public affairs spokesperson maintains that it is “impractical” to shed a campus before addressing the immediate budget mess. On that narrow point perhaps few would disagree. However, isn’t it also impractical and expensive to continue to waste time and money forcing students to travel between classrooms 12 miles apart, to insist on maintaining redundancies in a state-supported university system that does not act as a system and to support sending sports teams to compete with teams in Alaska?

If David Flanagan and Karl Turner were routinely forced to break up their work days with a slow, 25-mile round trip bus ride between offices wouldn’t they quickly explore better options? What justification does the university system have for maintaining two separate MBA programs? Is it really more practical to close academic programs before athletic programs are scaled back?

Dudley Greeley

adjunct faculty , USM School of Business