CASTINE, Maine — The committee searching for a new president for Maine Maritime Academy has narrowed the field to six candidates.
The nine-member committee reviewed close to 50 applications, according to trustee Manny Morgan, who chairs the committee searching for a replacement for MMA President Leonard Tyler. Tyler, who became president in 1995, announced in February that he would retire next summer, at the end of this academic year.
Morgan told the board of trustees at its regular meeting Friday that the six semifinalists are being vetted and will be interviewed late in August or early in September.
“The committee, made up of board, alumni, faculty, staff and student representatives, hopes to be able to select two or three individuals as finalists and present those names to the full board for further consideration,” she said.
Morgan said she expects the finalists will be invited to campus for interviews with the board and informational sessions with students, staff and faculty. Those sessions will be scheduled for sometime in the fall. The names of the finalists will be made public before the on-campus interview, she said.
The committee hopes to make a recommendation to the full board in January. The new president is expected to take office July 1, 2010.
In a rare split vote on Friday, the board also ratified a contract with the MMA faculty. The contract provides for a 3 percent increase in faculty salaries in each of the next three years. Faculty members previously had ratified the contract.
According to Richard Ericson, vice president for finance, the contract is the final contract to be negotiated with the three unions at the college, and includes the same provisions as the other two. The split vote, he said, was the result of concerns by some trustees about entering into a long-term contract.
“They had no problem with the first year,” Ericson said. “But, with the economic climate, some felt apprehensive about the second and third years of the contract.”
Other trustees, however, argued that the two contracts already approved were three-year contracts and that it wouldn’t be fair to the faculty to limit the contract just because they were last in line.
The contract includes provisions that allow the college to reopen negotiations if the state subsidy falls below a certain level or if enrollment levels drop significantly, he said. The agreement also includes a provision that allows the college to pay higher salaries to some instructors in specialized disciplines where it is sometimes difficult to find applicants.