June 24, 2018
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UMaine system trustees approve tenure for 25 faculty members, revamped background check policy

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved tenure for 25 faculty members, representing six of the system’s seven campuses. Those approvals take effect Sept. 1.

The board held its regular all-day meeting at the University of Maine at Augusta campus on Monday.

“All of the candidates represent the best in their fields, and we are fortunate to have scholars of their caliber in the system,” Chancellor James Page said Monday. “It is especially noteworthy that 15 of the 25 newly tenured faculty members teach in the [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] areas … which are key to meeting Maine’s workforce needs.

Other recipients specialized in industries such as business, accounting, tourism and recreation. A list of faculty members receiving tenure is available here.

Trustees also adopted a policy to standardize background screening practices across the system. Until now, each university had its own policy.

The new policy adopts best practices that were already in place at some of the campuses, according to the system. Screenings at all seven universities will now include reference checks, employment and educational verification, license verification and criminal history checks. Higher-level jobs and positions where employees handle cash or hazardous materials will require additional checks, such as credit and sex offender history.

The board also heard updates on several in-the-works initiatives, including the plan to fix the 40-year-old problem of how to effectively transfer credits among the system’s universities and efforts to increase the degree completion rate.

UMaine’s Memorial Gym and Fieldhouse Complex upgrade project received an additional $1 million allowance, bringing the total estimated cost of the project to $15 million.

Trustees also approved the spending of up to $2.2 million on management system software that will support and integrate facilities management systems statewide. Several consultants and system strategic plans have called for the consolidation of those computer systems in an attempt to cut out duplicative or dated computers that manage the system’s 9 million square feet of facilities.

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