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Budget crisis at UMF leads to faculty cuts, no-confidence vote for UMS chancellor

On May 18, UMF's Faculty Senate voted no-confidence regarding Dannel Malloy's leadership and decision-making in his position as UMS Chancellor.
University of Maine at Farmington

FARMINGTON, Maine — The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) has faced a steady decline in enrollment over the past decade, causing nine faculty members to lose their jobs on May 2, a University of Maine System (UMS) news release stated.

The faculty members were let go to support a plan to alleviate UMF's $5 million budget deficit. In addition to the decline in enrollment, current geopolitical tensions contributed to UMF's budget deficit and losses from stock market investments, according to the news release.

On May 18, UMF's Faculty Senate voted no-confidence regarding Dannel Malloy's leadership and decision-making in his position as UMS Chancellor.

Faculty senates at the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine at August previously gave no-confidence votes over the handling of the search for a new president for the Augusta campus, the Associated Press reported.

"My promise is to continue to work with the faculty, staff, campus leadership and — most importantly — students to protect the unique and high-quality college experience provided by the University of Maine at Farmington," Malloy said in a statement emailed to NEWS CENTER Maine.

Due to the faculty cuts at UMF, departments such as world languages, philosophy/religion, and women's and gender studies were eliminated from the university's humanities division.

Each faculty member that was let go is still granted full salary and benefits for one and a half years after their employment is retrenched due to the UMS faculty labor contract they signed upon employment, the news release stated. They will also receive priority rights to other open positions within UMS if they are qualified.

"None of us wanted this to come to pass, and the impact of the retrenchments are felt personally by the students, staff and faculty — even among those who were not directly impacted," Malloy said in the news release.

Amidst the budget cuts, Malloy continues to encourage other UMS universities to support the faculty who lost their positions by offering them new employment, the news release said. Malloy stated that UMF would cover first-year salary and benefits and relocation and travel expenses if any of the terminated UMF faculty members receive a position at another UMS university.

"I have incredible empathy and compassion for how deeply this affects the entire Farmington community, and my utmost hope is that Farmington can stabilize and put itself back in a position to grow," Malloy said.

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