University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy listens to presentations during the board meeting May 22, 2022 at the Glickman Library at the University of Southern Maine. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

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The University of Maine System board of trustees appointed Dannel Malloy, a career politician who in 2016 was cited by the New York Times as the most unpopular Democratic governor in the country to be chancellor of the system. Recently, the search committee appointed by that very board of trustees and chaired by a trustee appointed Michael Laliberte to be president of the University of Maine at Augusta, even though Malloy and the chair knew of the no-confidence vote on Laliberte in his post at the State University of New York Delhi and did not share that information with the rest of the search committee.

This occurred despite the very specific rules agreed to — in writing — by the entire committee requiring neither enhancement nor omission of important information by all committee members. Furthermore, Malloy and the chair say that the national search firm they hired told them that this was all right to do; that same search firm denies saying that to them.

I believe that these events demand that a comprehensive study be undertaken about how the board of trustees are chosen and how changes in that appointment system can — and must — be discovered, established, and ongoingly scrutinized.

Brian Striar


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