USM faculty senate issues vote of no confidence in university system chancellor

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AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine system chancellor who didn’t think a vote of no confidence was important enough to share with a search committee is now facing his own votes of no confidence.

The University of Maine Augusta faculty senate issued votes of no confidence in Chancellor Dannel Malloy and in the presidential search that led to the hiring of Michael R. Laliberte to run the Augusta campus. The University of Southern Maine faculty also voted against Malloy on Friday, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Malloy knew that Laliberte had been the subject of votes of no confidence at the State University of New York in Delhi, and he acknowledged that he should have informed the search committee that hired Laliberte for the new position on the Augusta Campus.

Malloy and the chair of the search committee learned about Laliberte’s background from Storbeck Search, a consulting firm that helps identify suitable candidates for higher education jobs.

Malloy issued a new apology, and the University of Maine system’s executive committee also weighed in Thursday, a day after the actions of the faculty senate. The faculty wants to relaunch research.

“I understand what a serious concern this is for the university and the system, and I will work with everyone at WBU to restore confidence in me,” said Malloy, who served as Connecticut’s governor from 2011 to 2019, in a press release.

The executive committee said it is “examining what can be done to improve the integrity of UMS presidential research, as well as the confidence of our academic communities in it.”

While at the State University of New York in Delhi, there were votes of no confidence in Laliberte’s leadership. Concerns have been raised about his handling of budgets, his lack of transparency and his activation of a “culture of disrespect and hostility”.

Laliberte said in a message to the community at the University of Maine at Augusta this week that he was open with the research consultant, but wished he had raised the vote of no confidence with the research committee himself.

He said he was hired at SUNY to be a “change agent” and most people embraced those changes. But he said a small group resisting change tried to derail his tenure and refused to engage with him.

He said the allegations against him were “baseless”.

Chancellor SUNY investigated the allegations “and found them to be baseless,” Laliberte wrote.

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