University of Southern Maine
|University of Maine at Portland |
Gorham State College
University of Maine at Portland-Gorham
|Motto||The University of Everyone|
|Colors||Royal Blue and Gold|
|Affiliations||NCAA Division III|
|Mascot||Champ the Husky|
The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a multi-campus public comprehensive university and part of the University of Maine System. USM's three primary campuses are located in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston in the U.S. state of Maine. Many courses and degree programs are also offered online. It was founded as two separate state universities, Gorham Normal School and University of Maine at Portland. The two universities were combined in 1970 to help streamline the public university system in Maine and eventually expanded by adding the Lewiston campus in 1988.
The Portland Campus is home to the Edmund Muskie School of Public Service, the Bio Sciences Research Institute, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Osher Map Library, and the USM School of Business. The Gorham campus, much more residential, is home to the School of Education and Human Development and the School of Music.
USM is among the "Best Northeastern Colleges," according to the Princeton Review's 2007 listings, and was also included in its 2007 edition of "America's Best Value Colleges." As of 2012, USM had 7,500 undergraduate students and 2,320 graduate school students, with an average class size of 25 and a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. Controversial decisions by the university administration to cut programs and fire up to 50 faculty led to student-led protests on the campus in 2014.
Evolving from Gorham Academy into an institution of higher education, USM originated in 1878 as Gorham Normal School, later called Gorham State Teachers College and then Gorham State College. In 1970 that institution merged with the University of Maine at Portland (previously Portland Junior College) and became the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham (UMPG). The name was changed to University of Southern Maine in 1978. The Lewiston-Auburn campus was founded in 1988.
At the beginning of 2014, administrators at USM announced that the university had found itself in dire financial straits, and would be announcing program closures and faculty layoffs, including long-term just cause faculty and tenured faculty.
On March 14, 2014, President Theodora Kalikow and Provost Michael Stevenson announced that four departments would be closed: the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department, the GeoSciences Department, the Arts and Humanities program at Lewiston-Auburn College, and the graduate program American and New England Studies (the Recreation and Leisure Studies closure was later rescinded). A week later, twelve individual faculty members in various departments were informed that they would be laid off effective May 31. As a result of protests led by USM students, the layoffs were rescinded by Kalikow on April 11. Later that year, Chancellor Page asked Kalikow for her resignation as USM president.
This process was restarted in October 2014, when Interim President David T. Flanagan (former CEO of a power company) and Provost Joseph McDonnell announced that the three programs targeted for elimination in March would indeed be eliminated, and two more: French and Applied Medical Sciences. In addition, USM faculty were notified that twenty-five departments would have to shed fifty full-time faculty members, whether through retirement or layoffs. Ag Pressure was inflicted by administration on senior faculty from the targeted departments with the implication being that junior faculty from their departments would be fired if the senior professors didn’t retire. Also, a longstanding opportunity for faculty to go on a three-year phased retirement was eliminated under Flanagan’s administration. In the end, 36 faculty members retired, but since some of them were not in targeted departments, 25 faculty members were fired. Despite protests from local business leaders claiming the cuts will impair Maine’s economy, administrators forged ahead with their plan.
Many faculty, students, staff, and community members disputed administration claims about financial insolvency, pointing to an independent analysis of the University of Maine System’s financial state conducted by university finances expert Howard Bunsis. Bunsis writes that USM "is in very strong financial condition, with solid reserves, annual operating cash surpluses, and a very high bond rating." Critics claimed that the layoffs were arbitrary and capricious, an attempt to eliminate outspoken faculty critical of administration policies and actions, and in violation of the Faculty Senate governance document and the faculty union’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. All of the faculty layoffs were immediately challenged through grievances filed by the union against the University of Maine System.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) wrote to Interim President Flanagan that the organization is launching an investigation into whether the firings constitute an attack on tenure and academic freedom. On May 13, 2015, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the AAUP issued its investigative report. They concluded that USM administrators acted in "flagrant violation" of principles of academic freedom and tenure as well as of claims of financial crisis. The Committee also found that administrators "acted in brazen disregard of key provisions of the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities." bA 50-page Appendix refutes USM administration claims of financial difficulty in the University of Maine system. The Appendix concludes that "the system is in very strong financial condition, with strong reserves, cash flows, and a high bond rating" and "Overall, the University of Maine system is in strong financial condition. Cutting the core mission of the University cannot be supported as a response to unsupported deficit predictions."
USM President David Flanagan released a response to the report, which is available on the same webpage as the report itself and its appendix; Flanagan disputes the report’s findings that administrators violated principles of academic freedom and tenure.
The University of Southern Maine community has had a continuing troubled relationship with its recent administrators. Selma Botman, Kalikow's immediate predecessor as USM president, resigned in the wake of an overwhelmingly negative result in a no-confidence vote by faculty in 2012 (194-88 in favor of "no confidence").
The university announced in March 2015 that Harvey Kesselman, Provost and Acting President of Stockton University, would become the USM President effective July 1, 2015. Kesselman backed out of the USM presidency when he was asked to remain at Stockton in the wake of that institution's troubled attempts to open an "island campus" in Atlantic City, New Jersey. USM then announced that Glenn Cummings, former speaker of the Maine House, would serve as the next president. Since in the wake of the controversy swirling around the university Zito Sartarelli had already withdrawn his name from consideration in February, Glenn Cummings remained the only finalist willing to accept the job. He currently serves as the fourth president of USM since 2011.
The main part of the campus consists entirely of non-residential buildings. Many department offices are located around the perimeter of the campus center in converted multi-story homes as well as in the major buildings. The primary academic areas at the Portland campus are business, nursing, history, political science, economics, sociology, biology, physics, chemistry, math, English, psychology, media studies, modern and classical languages and literatures, American and New England studies. The Albert Brenner Glickman Family Library is the main library on the Portland Campus.
Gorham is home to most of the university's dormitories and competitive athletic facilities. The primary academic areas residing in Gorham are industrial technologies, engineering, art, music, theater, counseling and education, anthropology, geography, environmental sciences, and geosciences. McLellan House, built in 1773, was acquired by Gorham State College in 1966. It was converted into dormitories and later into office space. The Academy Building was built in 1803 and purchased by the university in 1878.
Residence Halls located on the Gorham campus include:
- Woodward Hall
- Dickey and Wood Towers: Dickey and Wood Towers were opened in 1970 and formerly inaugurated in 1973. They are named after Edna Dickey, who taught history at the university from 1945–1972 as well as serving as Dean of Women from 1945–69 and Esther Wood, who taught social sciences from 1930–1973. USM has proposed mothballing the two towers, which currently have several vacant floors, to save $400,000 in 2014.
- Upton Hall and Hastings Hall: Upton Hall and the adjacent Hastings Hall are named after Ethelyn Upton and Mary Hastings, both of whom were prominent faculty. Upton Hall, home of the university healthcenter and Residential Life Office, was opened in 1960. Hastings Hall opened in 1968. Together, the complex can house up to 300 students.
- Anderson Hall
- Robie Andrews Hall: Robie Hall is named after former Maine Governor Frederick Robie, who served from 1883 to 1887. It was built in 1897 to replace a female-only dormitory which had burnt down in 1894.
- Phillipi Hall: Opened in 2001. Philippi hall also houses USM's new Pioneer Program.
- Upperclass Hall (completed fall of 2007)
The Lewiston-Auburn campus of the University of Southern Maine is the newest of the three campuses. The college on this campus is known as Lewiston-Auburn College (USM LAC). USM LAC is committed to being a national leader in interdisciplinary education, serving as a resource for the community, and providing degree programs that are responsive to changing cultural and workplace demands available to a non-traditional and diverse student body.
Baccalaureate degree programs available at USM LAC are: Arts and Humanities, Leadership and Organizational Studies, Natural and Applied Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Master of Arts in Leadership and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees are offered exclusively at Lewiston-Auburn College. The USM Nursing program (BS & RN to BS) from USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions are also offered at the Lewiston-Auburn campus.
USM offers baccalaureate and master's degree programs as well as doctoral programs in Public Policy and School Psychology. Undergraduate study is available in roughly 115 areas, and degrees conferred include the B.S, B.A, B.M., and B.F.A. Graduate study is available at the Masters and Doctoral level through the School of Business, School of Education and Human Development, Muskie School of Public Service, School of Social Work, School of Music, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Nursing, and the School of Environmental, Health, and Life Sciences.
The Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing is a graduate program in creative writing which enrolls approximately 100 students in four major genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and popular fiction.
The USM School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) an unrecognized accreditor.
Continuing education is available through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes.
The University of Southern Maine teams are known as the Huskies. The university sponsors the 23 sports at the NCAA Division III level. The majority of sports compete in the Little East Conference; wrestling competes as an independent Division III team, men's and women's ice hockey compete in the ECAC East.
Men's intercollegiate athletic teams
Women's intercollegiate athletic teams
Glenn Cummings was appointed President of the university on May 20, 2015 after Dr. Harvey Kesselman, who had accepted an appointment as President of the university to commence on July 1, 2015, agreed to remain as Acting President of Stockton University by request of the Stockton University Board of Trustees.
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