After a Portland Press Herald article highlighted nearly $250,000 in raises given to 44 University of Southern Maine employees, the new university system chancellor will launch a review of the system's compensation policies.
The University of Maine system has a position-review program that ensures employees who have taken on additional responsibilities are paid competitive and fair wages. Through that program, 44 employees received raises last year that ranged from $1,400 to $34,514 a year, according to the paper, even though most employees have not received regular raises over the past three years. USM is also facing a $5.1 million budget cut and will likely initiate layoffs. James Page, who started as UMS chancellor this week, said he plans to scrutinize the position-review program and assess all compensation policies. USM has 1,401 employees.
Page also said his approval will be needed for any future discretionary salary increases. According to the paper, USM has given out $1 million in raises annually over the past four years.