The most recent University of Southern Maine cuts, as directed by interim President David Flanagan, former Central Maine Power CEO, resemble more of a slash-and-burn approach to “balancing the budget” than they do cuts essential to balancing the University of Maine System.

When a business owner and potential employer of Maine residents, Joe Chandler of Maine Biotechnology Services, speaks to the impact of these cuts – including entire programs, specifically, applied medical sciences – and goes unheard in this time of grim employment opportunities in our state, things have gone very wrong.The influence and credibility given to a former business executive trying to establish a “leaner system” is counter to Maine’s best interests.

Our support for USM’s Portland campus is a significant part of the need to bring and sustain professional-level jobs to southern Maine. A centrally located university is integral to attracting businesses to our state.

Looking ahead, anticipating viable businesses and providing the right educational support is forward thinking, not the short-sighted vision of Flanagan’s “efficiency expert” approach.

Jean Ward-Brown

Cape Elizabeth