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USM Students to Choose Representatives to Serve on Presidential Search Committee

The University of Maine System is forming a search committee to find the next president of the University of Southern Maine. This committee, chaired by Trustee Jim Erwin, begins its work this fall.

The Presidential Search Committee will include one undergraduate and one graduate student.  Undergraduate Student Senate Chair Joshua Dodge and USM Graduate Student Representative to the Board of Trustees Jaclyn Jacobson reached out to all matriculated undergraduate and graduate students via email and through social media inviting any who would like to serve on the search committee to submit a statement of interest. Over 6,000 students were contacted directly. 

USM’s undergraduate Student Senate is the established governing body of the population and will vote on who will represent undergraduate students on the Presidential Search Committee.  Interested parties have until 5 p.m., July 17 to submit a letter of interest to undergraduate Student Senate Chair Joshua Dodge.  The senate will meet at 1 p.m. on July 20 in Room 405, Bailey Hall, Gorham campus in a public meeting to consider candidates and choose a representative. 

“We need all students to participate in the discussions about USM’s future,” said Joshua Dodge, chair of the USM Undergraduate Student Senate.  “We wanted to get the Presidential Search Committee off to a good start by making sure every interested student had a chance to be considered by their elected representatives.” 

The graduate student body does not have an active governing body.  To ensure a fair process the entire graduate student population will have an opportunity to consider and vote on the candidates who submitted letters of interest by the July 15 deadline. Members of the graduate student body can view letters of interest by visiting

Graduate students are receiving instructions on how to participate in the vote via their university email address.  Ballots may be cast through noon on July 20, 2014. 

“We wanted to make sure our representative to the Presidential Search Committee was chosen fairly,” said Jaclyn Jacobs.  “Every graduate student was offered the chance to be considered and each of us will have a say in who represents us on the committee.”

While only one student from the undergraduate and graduate student bodies will serve on the committee, everyone will have a chance to contribute.  The Presidential Search Committee will hold its meetings in public and in full compliance of the Maine Freedom of Access Act.  All students and campus stakeholders will have an opportunity to participate in the process when the top identified candidates make campus visits next year.