UMF votes no confidence in Chancellor Malloy

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FARMINGTON – The University of Maine Farmington Faculty Senate declared a vote, 8-3, of no confidence in Chancellor Dannel Malloy on Wednesday following Malloy’s decision to retrench nine faculty members. UMF is the third campus to do so- UMaine Augusta and the University of Southern Maine made the same decision last week.

There were a number of reasons that lead to the vote, according to the resolution. Faculty Senate pointed not only to the recent retrenchments which “gutted” UMF’s Humanities Department, but noted specifically the choice to eliminate Women’s and Gender Studies courses “at a pivotal point in the history of our country when women’s rights are under assault.” The resolution declared that those choices “threaten UMF’s identity and mission as a liberal arts college.”

The Chancellor defended those cuts in a statement earlier this week saying that they were part of a plan to close a $5 million budget deficit at UMF.

“I regret the public misunderstanding over how and why these decisions were made,” he wrote. “And I understand the fear and uncertainty that the necessary changes at the University of Maine at Farmington have created. None of us wanted this to come to pass, and the impact of the retrenchments are felt personally by the students, staff and faculty — even among those who were not directly impacted.”

Malloy said that a review was conducted to identify “low-enrolled and under-performing academic programs,” however, associated faculty reported consistently full classes.

In addition, faculty noted the resignation of three presidents under the leadership of Malloy as well as the lack of transparency with the hiring of UMaine Augusta’s new president. Malloy failed to disclose to faculty that incoming president Michael Laliberte had received his own vote of no confidence while in his previous position at SUNY Delhi.

Malloy responded to UMF’s decision yesterday saying that he is taking it seriously and understands “that they are reacting to very difficult decisions and challenges.”

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

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