Published Date Written by David CarkhuffAt a meeting Monday in Bangor, University of Maine System Trustees approved Theo Kalikow as the new president of the University of Southern Maine and appointed Selma Botman to head the system’s international student recruitment efforts, according to UMS officials.
The board’s action puts in place a proposal announced late last week by Chancellor James H. Page. Page said Botman requested reassignment and proposed to him that new leadership might be the best direction for USM. Page subsequently recommended Kalikow to the presidency at USM and asked Botman to develop a strategic systemwide approach to recruitment of international students.
“The end of the semester was the end of May, and so over the last few weeks, I’ve thought, ‘What do I really want to do with the next chapter of my life?’ and I decided that what I’d really like to do is globalize the university, bring the world to Maine,” Botman said during a press conference last Thursday.
This spring, a “no confidence” vote was waged by faculty expressing displeasure with Botman. The vote failed, falling short of the two-thirds majority required, and last Thursday, during the announcements of proposed administration changes, officials would not identify that vote and the underlying dissatisfaction as a factor in the administrative shuffle.
Botman said Thursday that the “no confidence” vote did not spur her decision, but rather “a confluence of interests” arose.
“Over the last four years, I have had the privilege of leading USM, and I’m so proud of the accomplishments we have made at this university. It’s fiscally sound, it’s student focused, it has deepened its ties to the community, and it is poised to take its next step,” she said.
Botman began her position of USM president on July 1, 2008, starting at an annual salary of $203,000. With Monday’s action, she is scheduled to move into the job of “special assistant to the chancellor for global education,” where she said her annual salary will remain at $203,000 and where she said she’s committed for a year.
Kalikow also will receive an annual salary of $203,000, according to UMS.
“One of the advantages to managing the University System as a true ‘system’ is that you have the ability to maximize talent and experience within the organization and utilize people’s expertise in meeting the broad goals of the system,” Michelle Hood, chair of the UMS Board of Trustees, said in Monday’s press release. “In this case, we are utilizing the talents of both Theo Kalikow and Selma Botman.”
In its press release, UMS noted other events at the meeting, including:
• Trustees approved the Chancellor’s recommendations on compensation policies which are designed to ensure appropriate oversight, equitable treatment of employees, and prudent use of resources while allowing latitude for university presidents to manage the workforce without burdensome administrative requirements.
• The board reviewed and approved the University of Maine’s “Blue Sky Project,” a plan that sets a framework for innovative and entrepreneurial growth, and charts a course for fiscal sustainability for the university through 2017.
• Trustees awarded Richard Cost the title president emeritus of UMFK. Cost retired from the Fort Kent campus in 2010.
• Trustees authorized the Chancellor to execute collective bargaining agreements with the Maine Part-time Faculty Association (AFT-Maine/AFL-CIO) and the Teamsters Local Union No. 340 Service and Maintenance Unit.
• Trustees reviewed and approved a new mission statement for the University of Maine at Machias. This update more accurately reflects the goals and purposes of UMM as a public environmental liberal arts university.
• Trustees approved $542,000, approximately a 6 percent increase, in the budget for the Stewart Art/New Media Complex at the University of Maine in order to add specialized audio visual components to the classrooms and other technologies. The increase is fully funded from campus and gift funds, the press release noted.
Timeline of UMS administrative changes
• Feb. 16 — The Executive Committee of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees unanimously appoints James Page as Chancellor of the University of Maine System for a three-year term effective March 20, with an annual salary of $277,500.
• March 19 — Chancellor Richard Pattenaude serves at his last board meeting after 21 years with the university system. The appointment of Page as Chancellor becomes effective March 20.
• April 24 — The Executive Committee of the UMS board approves the appointment of Kathryn A. Foster as the president of the University of Maine at Farmington for a two-year term effective July 1 at an annual salary of $160,000. She replaces Theodora Kalikow, who announced she was retiring.
• May 2 — In a sign of discontent with of the University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman, a two-day "no confidence" referendum starts with a petition circulated by USM's Faculty Senate. The referendum vote fails. In a statement issued by USM, Botman says, "The no-confidence vote failed. To pass, it required that two-thirds of the faculty or 251 members vote in favor. The final tally, 194 for no confidence, 88 against, was short of this."
• May 21 — The last board meeting is held for President Theodora Kalikow. She is honored with a resolution of appreciation by the board. The Board of Trustees awards the title President Emerita of the University of Maine at Farmington to Kalikow "in recognition of her service and contributions."
• June 30 — Kalikow, who served as president of the University of Maine at Farmington for the past 18 years, is due to retire, although she is expected to continue to serve the University of Maine System, working on special projects for two years.
• July 5 — Botman, who began her position of USM president on July 1, 2008, starting at an annual salary of $203,000, will step down as president and take on a new, one-year job, at the same salary, to expand and develop the system's international education programs, Chancellor Page announces. Kalikow will serve as USM's next president for two years to replace Botman, Page announces.
• July 9 — Trustees approve Page's recommendations.
• July 10 — Kalikow will begin her new presidency at USM.