Selma Botman is stepping down from her post as University of Southern Maine president, two months after faculty held an unsuccessful vote of no-confidence against her.
In a press release, University of Maine System Chancellor James Page said Botman requested a reassignment during a conversation they had regarding "how we might best move the University of Southern Maine forward." He added, "President Botman proposed to me that new leadership might be the best direction to go in."
Botman will lead efforts to expand and develop the system's international education programs, while recently retired University of Maine at Farmington President Theo Kalikow will step in as USM president. Kalikow will begin her new presidency on July 10.
Botman became the center of a controversy earlier this year after the Portland Press Herald reported that the university gave out $250,000 in raises to 44 employees last year despite a looming $5.1 million budget cut. In April, faculty began collecting signatures to hold a vote of no-confidence for Botman, though USM Senate Chair Jeannine Uzzi said the petition was being circulated before news of the raises. The faculty who launched the petition cited a decline in morale and controversial spending decisions during her tenure. Faculty voted 194 for no-confidence, failing to reach the 251 needed for a two-thirds majority.
Page said that Botman's international relations experience qualifies her to lead the international outreach initiative.
Michelle Hood, chair of the UMS Board of Trustees, said the board supports Page's organizational changes, according to the release.