PORTLAND — Plans for a faculty vote of no confidence in the administration of University of Southern Maine President Selma Botman are moving forward, the head of the school’s faculty senate said.

Senate Chair Jeannine Uzzi told a meeting of the senate today that a petition asking for a referendum had gathered enough signatures to force a vote. Under the organization’s bylaws, a vote must be held if more than 10 percent of the faculty signs a petition, and the request for a referendum easily exceeded that threshold, Uzzi said.

The vote has not been scheduled, Uzzi said, but will probably be held before the end of the month. The faculty will also hold open forums at USM’s three campuses for faculty members to air their views, Uzzi said.

The petition cites falling morale among faculty members and an overall lack of confidence in Botman, she said.

USM is facing $5.1 million in budget cuts, but Botman recently handed out nearly $250,000 in discretionary raises to some administrators. Uzzi noted that the petition was already being circulated when news of the raises broke.

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