University of Maine System

Recent Stories

State universities paying agents to recruit international students

The University of Maine will spend $700,000 to renovate Estabrooke Hall in order to accommodate Study Group. The new space will include classrooms for international students who enroll in Study Group's program and office space for administrators working with the program.

This September, among the new students attending the University of Maine’s orientation in Orono will be two students from China and one each from India, Vietnam and Bangladesh.

They didn’t come here on their own. They were recruited in their home countries by agents paid on a per-head basis by the public university. Continue Reading →

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University chancellor given authority over top appointments, raises

Michelle Hood, chairwoman of the board of trustees

BANGOR — The University of Maine system trustees on Monday approved policy changes designed to give the chancellor greater authority over appointments, promotions and pay raises. The changes come after press reports about the use of loopholes in the hiring process to give top level jobs to former Baldacci administration officials and about nearly $1 million in discretionary pay raises to system employees. Most of those appointments and pay raises were approved by presidents and top executives at some of the System’s seven campuses. The rules adopted Monday, the result of a study of personnel policies ordered by the new chancellor, James Page, effectively takes final authority over hiring and raises of the System’s top managers away from the presidents and puts it in Page’s hands.All of the controversial pay raises and hiring came under Page’s predecessors. Page said that no management-level “position will be opened or filled without the authority of the chancellor. Continue Reading →

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University System a haven for former top state staffers

James Page, photo John Clarke Russ, BDN

Hiring records at the University of Maine System show loopholes, waivers and personal and political connections played a significant role in the appointment of seven state officials into some of the highest paying non-teaching jobs in the system. Six of the seven worked for the same state agency during the administration of former Gov. John Baldacci and the seventh was a member of the System Board of Trustees during that period. The current and immediately past chairs of the board both said that while they believe there was no improper influence in most of the hires, they also said a review of the process is warranted. And the new chancellor of the System, James Page, said he will add the hiring issue to a review he is doing about recent questions involving System pay raises. “I take the allegations and concerns very seriously, but I’m not prepared to say what the strengths of those allegations and concerns are,” Page said. Continue Reading →

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