The University of Maine System’s board of trustees has endorsed a proposal to rename the University of Southern Maine.
At a meeting on Monday, the board voted in favor of a resolution to change the school’s name to the University of Maine at Portland.
School officials have said the name change will cost about $1.2 million, but they anticipate it will also boost enrollment, particularly from out-of-state students.
Board member Gregory Johnson said that those students will be vital to sustaining the university.
“To compete in that incredibly difficult environment, I think this will go a long way to making the University of Maine at Portland a wonderful, metropolitan university it can be with that name change,” Johnson said.
While student organizations supported the change, a few board members expressed skepticism about its cost, as well as the name’s emphasis on Portland, without a focus on the rest of the state.
After the board’s vote, the proposal will now need to be approved by the Legislature. State Sen. Nate Libby has proposed a name change bill that could be heard during the upcoming legislative session.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.