The University of Maine system has suspended all discretionary salary increases in the wake of a controversy over reports that 44 employees at the University of Southern Maine received $242,000 in raises during a difficult fiscal year, the Bangor Daily News reported. James H. Page, who took office as the system’s chancellor this week, said the university would undertake a full review of salary increases on each of its campuses.
The Portland Press Herald first reported the increases at Southern Maine, which included raises ranging from 18 to 22 percent for four employees who work directly for the campus’s president, Selma Botman. Ed Collom, an associate professor of sociology and president of Southern Maine’s faculty union, said the raises called into question the system’s position that it has no money for faculty salary increases. Faculty members have not had cost-of-living raises since 2009, he said, and are now being offered an increase of only 0.5 percent after working a year without a contract.