A petition has collected enough faculty signatures to force a vote of no-confidence for University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman. The faculty petition seeks to remove Botman from her position, citing a decline in morale and spending decisions during her tenure.
USM Senate Chair Jeannine Uzzi told the Portland Press Herald that more than 10% of USM's 340 faculty members signed the petition, triggering the vote. A vote has not been scheduled, but will likely be held this month. A vote of no-confidence would not remove Botman from office, but faculty members hope it would convince UMaine System Chancellor James Page to make that decision, according to the Bangor Daily News. Botman told the Senate on Friday that she wants to work with the faculty to address concerns behind the petition. USM student body President Chris Camire also addressed the Senate, criticizing the faculty for seeking the vote instead of finding another way to address their concerns.
USM has been under scrutiny after the Press Herald reported it gave out discretionary raises of up to $34,514 a year for 44 employees last year despite a looming $5.1 million budget cut. Uzzi said the petition, however, was already being circulated before news of the raises.