In my view, the most telling point about any possible merger of UME-Machias’ campus with U.Maine will be whether or not the System and the Trustees appoint a “permanent” president once the status of the System’s smallest campus—in terms of faculty, staff, and students—is determined. The other day the System appointed an interim President, someone who has for years served in similar posts on several System campuses–including Machias years ago– as well as in other top administrative capacities. The BDNews story didn’t clarify whether the current interim President—the “permanent” Machias Provost—will return to that post or will leave Machias.
Thanks largely to longtime House Speaker John Martin, all seven System campuses are required to have some designated head. But it apparently doesn’t have to be a President. Martin got this law passed so he could continue as at least a part-time administrator at UME-Fort Kent.
Because Machias is SO small, does it really need another full-time President? Could not someone of lesser rank take the place of a President? That might save $150,000, the salary cited for this return engagement.
Don’t count on this happening. Cuts that remove ever more full-time faculty and campus staff are, of course, the usual route to save money in order to hire ever more administrators and outside consultants. But maybe, just maybe, there will be modest thinning of the administrative ranks within the UME System.