As a former university professor who also served as a department administrator for many years, I struggle to find the strategy at work in the recent cutbacks at the University of Southern Maine. In at least two cases – cuts to the Muskie School of Public Service and the elimination of a tenured position in French – it seems as though the acting president has identified two successful programs and has determined to gut them.

Maine has a population that numbers roughly one-third with French cultural roots – French, French Canadian and Acadian – so why maintain a program that supports that culture?

With the successful and well-known program in social policy, the Muskie School, the administration has caused faculty to retire or seek positions elsewhere, thereby undermining a distinctive program.

USM’s strategies for “reform” are mysterious indeed.

Nathaniel Wing

East Boothbay