PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The new President of the University of Southern Maine arrived in Portland today for her first official day on the job.
Theodora Kalikow replaces Selma Botman who resigned after spending 4-years as USM's president. Botman requested reassignment within the university system after coming under fire for awarding nearly 1-million dollar in raises to key aides at a time when enrollment continued to decline. The university's faculty then took a no confidence vote in her.
Her replacement, Theodora Kalikow, recently retired as President of the University of Maine at Farmington. Today she was at USM's Portland campus unpacking her things. Kalikow spent 18-years as UMF's president. She joked that she enjoyed her retirement, which lasted a little more than a week.
She sat down and talked with us about the challenges of taking over under the cloud left behind by the former president.
"I think it's always difficult when a president leaves under the circumstances that we've seen, but basically any transition is difficult. This one is especially weird for me because usually when you come into a presidency you come in as interim from a place you've already been or there's a search process and you get to know the campus and you decide if it's a good fit and this, none of those things happened", she said.
Kalikow's new contract as USM calls for her to serve as president for the next 2-years.