University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman has rescinded raises for two employees following controversy over the nearly $250,000 handed out to 44 employees last year.
The Portland Press Herald earlier this month reported that USM had given out discretionary raises last year that ranged from $1,400 to $34,514 a year, leading University of Maine System Chancellor James Page to require that future raises meet his approval. Botman yesterday said she pulled raises for Chief of Staff Tim Stevens and Public Affairs Director Bob Caswell, who received salary increases of 18% and 22%, respectively, because they were the most contentious. Stevens' salary went from $89,500 to $106,000, and Caswell's salary increased from $87,788 to $106,000.
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. USM has given out $1 million in raises annually over the past four years through this program, although many employees have not received regular raises in that time period. 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.