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Faculty furious over failure to disclose no confidence votes

On Friday, the University of Southern Maine faculty cast a vote of no confidence in University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.
The University of Maine System chancellor who didn’t think a no-confidence vote was important enough to share with a search committee is now the subject of his
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 4:14 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The University of Maine System chancellor who didn’t think a no-confidence vote was important enough to share with a search committee is now the subject of his own no-confidence votes.

Friday afternoon, the University of Southern Maine faculty cast a vote of no confidence in University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy.

The faculty senate at the University of Maine at Augusta also issued votes of no confidence this week in Chancellor Dannel Malloy and the presidential search that led to the hiring of Michael R. Laliberte to lead the Augusta campus.

Malloy knew that Laliberte had been subjected to votes of no confidence at State University of New York at Delhi, but didn’t tell the search committee.

Laliberte said allegations against him in his previous job were “baseless” and that an investigation by the SUNY chancellor concluded they were “without merit.”

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UMS Chancellor Dannel P. Malloy’s statement regarding USM Faculty Senate no-confidence vote:

I am in receipt of a resolution of the University of Southern Maine Faculty Senate, approved in the last hour this afternoon to declare no confidence in my leadership as Chancellor of the University of Maine System. The resolution is included here.

As I acknowledged when presented with a similar resolution from the University of Maine at Augusta Faculty Senate earlier this week — which declared no confidence in me as Chancellor due largely to mistakes I made and apologized for in the University of Maine at Augusta presidential search — the voice of the faculty is critically important, and I take these resolutions seriously.

I see in the USM faculty resolution clear anxiety about the presidential leadership transition nearing its apex at the university. I am confident that UMS Trustee Jim Erwin led a sound national search and that the president I’ll introduce to the university community Monday afternoon is the right leader to confront USM’s challenges honestly and strategically build on the incredible strengths USM has among our collection of universities.

I see anxiety in the resolution, too, about important strategic initiatives undertaken at the behest, or with the full support, of the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. Unified accreditation for our universities is a first-in-the-country innovation that opens new doorways for our universities to collaborate and share resources, and I took the matter to our Board for their unanimous approval only after more than 50 campus visits around the state to talk with faculty and staff from every university in our System about it. I am leading an effort, generously supported by $75 million from the Harold Alfond Foundation and leveraging an additional $75 million in matching dollars, to strengthen USM’s two undergraduate engineering programs through strategic partnership with the University of Maine’s world-renowned College of Engineering, along with computer and information science programs throughout the System. And I am proud to have found a new home for the University of Maine School of Law in the heart of Portland’s Old Port, for which our Board has authorized renovation investments that I believe we will eventually recoup through state-supported bonding and future Harold Alfond Foundation grant investments.

The pace of change in undertaking these initiatives is itself the cause of anxiety at not only USM, but around our System. I appreciate that, and I look forward to working on my relationship with USM’s faculty and its new president so that USM grows in stability and stature to advance these and other Board priorities and strengthen its own unique contributions in our university system.

I am not perfect as a leader. When I’ve made mistakes, I’ve tried to publicly acknowledge them. We as leaders in Maine’s public university system should all approach our challenges with humility and a willingness to work constructively together to advance our mutual interests and better serve the people of Maine. I intend to model these characteristics in my own work, and I hope the faculty at the University of Southern Maine will join me in that effort as we look forward together to welcoming a new president next Monday who shares these values.”

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