The embattled Chancellor of the University of Maine System, Chancellor Dannel Malloy, has had his contract extended until mid-July by the Trustees according to a statement issued by Margaret Nagle, spokeswoman for the System. The statement is:
“Upon advice of counsel and mutual agreement between Board Chair Trish Riley and Chancellor Dannel Malloy, the chancellor can continue in his duties under the terms of his existing contract until the board takes final action on a new contract which is anticipated at the July 11 Board meeting. There was no vote or action taken by the Board of Trustees or the Chancellor Review Committee in regards to this mutual agreement. The Chancellor’s contract is set to expire on June 30th. This short-term solution means he can continue to serve in his current capacity until the regular Board meeting.”
One of Chancellor Malloy’s most public critics has been Dr. Glenn Cummings current president of the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Cummings is resigning to take another position the end of this month. On May 22, 2022, Dr. Cummings issued a lengthy statement on his resignation. It reads in part: “……….I left because philosophical differences between collaboration versus subjugation became undeniable. I also do not share the chancellor’s style of leadership. The creation of an inclusive vision, careful listening to key stakeholders and fully transpartent decision-making must be the cornerstone of change. The present culture of the UM system appears to fall short of these principles. Based on the last couple years, the faculty and the citizens of Maine have every right to ask tough questions as to whether the chancellor’s direction and style are right for Maine.”
Last month Richard Barringer, professor emeritus of USM’s Muskie School of Public Service responded to the “misplaced” criticism heaped upon Chancelor Malloy in a “Portland Press Herald” editorial. Professor Barringer’s opinion was in an op-ed in the editorial page in the “Portland Press Herald.” It read in part: “…..
“The chancellor is the board’s chief execudtive officer, charged to carry out the Board’s policies and purposes. It had been apparent for some years that due largely to changing demographics, the seven-campus systems strains against the system’s financial resources and capacities. In response, the chancellor’s office has centralized administrative services and each campus has lost support personnel. Still, it is reported that five of the seven campuses operae “under-water,” even as the board’s reserve funds are all but depleted……….It is the responsibility of board members, themselves to persuade Maine citizens and our legislators of painful necessities and their rationale; and of the chancellor to carry these out with support from both above and below. It is time for the board to get on with this responsibility, and for the Legislature to clarify the board’s indispensable role.”
Is this a popularity contest or about fiscal responsibility?