University of Southern Maine Reorganization

Letter from Jim Shaffer

March 19, 2010

On behalf of the eight-member Design Team, I submit for your review and consideration the “Design Team Academic Reorganization Proposal to the President of the University of Southern Maine.”

President Botman will now accept your comments on this document before preparing a proposal for deliberation by the Faculty Senate at meetings scheduled for April 2 and April 16. Please send your comments to reorgcomments@usm.maine.edu. Any comments sent to this address will be made available for public scrutiny.

Since the release of the draft proposal on March 1, we have reviewed more than 120 comments and counter-proposals; attended meetings on all three campuses; met with representatives of off-campus advisory boards associated with various schools and colleges; and engaged in countless individual conversations with faculty, staff and students. This proposal also is the culmination of 35 hours of formal meetings.

It has been an exhausting, yet exhilarating, experience. I speak for all eight team members when I say that we have gained a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, how deeply people on and off campus care about this university and its programs.

We tried to listen as carefully and as considerately as we could over the last 18 or so days. The feedback certainly informed our discussions. And, as you will note, in other cases the feedback caused us to reconsider and accept changes in the draft document.

Earlier this year, President Botman addressed the campus community on the need to position our university for future growth and sustainability. “As responsible stewards of the public resources entrusted to us,” she said, “we owe the State of Maine, our students, and their families our best, most creative and responsible efforts.”

Not everyone will embrace all the changes called for in this document. I do hope, however, that everyone will accept that the Design Team members came together in the best interest of the entire university and indeed gave this work our best, most creative and responsible efforts.

Sincerely,

James B. Shaffer
Chair, Design Team
Chief Operating Officer 
Dean, School of Business