FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington Faculty Senate cast a vote of no confidence in University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy on Wednesday.

University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel P. Malloy introduces new University of Maine at Augusta President Michael R. Laliberte at Randall Hall in April. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

The group cited issues with Malloy’s leadership, the decision to eliminate positions in the humanities and social sciences, integration into UMaine System’s Unified Accreditation and the threat to “UMF’s identity and mission as a liberal arts college specializing in the preparation of teachers.”

The vote follows a time of instability at UMF and in the UMaine System.

Nine faculty members in the humanities and social sciences learned May 2 their positions at UMF were being eliminated.

The eliminations have removed all of the staff in the Women’s and Gender Studies program, Philosophy/Religion department, and Modern Languages department. An additional three positions were eliminated in the History, Geography and Psychology departments.

As a result, students and faculty protested the eliminations Saturday, May 7, following UMF’s Class of 2022 graduation. Students also held a 24-hour sit-in Tuesday, May 11, to Wednesday, May 12, where they wrote a list of demands that includes Malloy’s resignation or removal.


Amid the concerns, UMF had already been in a time of change this past school year.

The Farmington Flyer, UMF’s student newspaper, reported that “UMF will be implementing a new curriculum and credit system in the fall of 2023 … to match UMF’s curriculum with other University of Maine System schools … (and) make the transfer of students to UMF easier.”

Faculty members have told the Sun Journal the transition from a four- to three-credit system has caused a lot of stress during an already difficult couple of years at UMF.

At the same time, leadership at UMF, the University of Maine at Augusta and the University of Southern Maine has been in flux following the resignations of all three current presidents. Additionally, UMF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Eric Brown announced Tuesday he would be stepping down from the role June 30.

Each campus was appointed a new president in the past three weeks.

UMaine System announced Tuesday, May 3, that Joseph McDonnell would be replacing outgoing UMF President Edward Serna as the interim president for two years — reportedly without faculty input.


The Kennebec Journal reports that Malloy also appointed Michael Laliberte to serve as UMA’s president with the knowledge that Laliberte had received votes of no confidence as president of the State University of New York at Delhi.

In the span of three days last week, both UMA and USM‘s Faculty Senates issued votes of no confidence against Malloy.

UMA additionally issued a no-confidence resolution in the presidential search process which resulted in Laliberte’s appointment.

No Confidence Resolution UMF Faculty Senate V4 2022-05-18 by sunjournal on Scribd

The UMF Faculty Senate has given the following reasons for the vote of no confidence in Malloy:

• “Whereas the Chancellor has engaged in a pattern of behavior that disregards the standards of shared governance and the autonomy and missions of the individual (UMaine System) campuses as outlined in the no-confidence votes last week at UMA and USM.”


• “Whereas nine UMF faculty members were retrenched at the system’s behest, gutting UMF’s Humanities Division — including the entirety of World Languages, Philosophy/Religion, Women’s and Gender Studies — with additional cuts to Social Sciences and Psychology.”

• “Whereas, Women’s and Gender Studies courses were targeted for elimination at a pivotal point in the history of our country when women’s rights are under assault.”

• “Whereas the nature and scope of these cuts threaten UMF’s identity and mission as a liberal arts college specializing in the preparation of teachers, and makes it impossible for students in multiple programs to complete their majors at their home institution.”

• “Whereas the resignation of three presidents in the (UMaine System) in the last year under the leadership of the Chancellor has led to a culture of instability.”

• “Whereas the Chancellor failed to inform the UMA presidential search committee of information about a no-confidence vote against the candidate the System hired in spite of ethics codes mandating such reporting, and delegated decision-making authority to a private consultancy firm with a history of known ethics violations.”

• “Whereas Unified Accreditation principles have been selectively applied in a way that does not include financial aid or marketing, thus robbing Maine students of a fair choice and exacerbating competition between campuses.”


• “Whereas campus administrations have been stripped of the autonomy necessary to conduct essential campus business, including the hiring of all personnel at every level and the dispersal of faculty stipends for off-contract work.”

In response to UMF’s vote, Chancellor Malloy issued the following statement:

“I take seriously the University of Maine at Farmington Faculty Senate’s vote today. I understand that they are reacting to very difficult decisions and challenges facing UMF. My promise is to continue to work with the faculty, staff, campus leadership and — most importantly — students to protect the unique and high-quality college experience provided by the University of Maine at Farmington.

The System will continue to do everything that it can to find new opportunities for the members of the faculty who were directly impacted by these changes. I know this is hard and I know that there will be those who disagree with this course of action. I am accountable for my decision to approve this plan, as difficult as it is, and understand that it is my responsibility to implement the vision and strategies set forth by the Board of Trustees even when that requires incredibly hard choices.

Our focus must remain on serving our students and maintaining a university system that is accessible and affordable.”

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