Lecture: Selma Botman, president at the University of Southern Maine, on â€œUSM: The Value of a Public Higher Education.â€
Past Event ....... April 16th, 2009 — 12:00 pm
Thursday, April 16, noon to 1 p.m. in Callahan Hall, the Great Falls Forum lecture series presents Selma Botman, president at the University of Southern Maine, speaking on “USM: The Value of a Public Higher Education.” Free. Attendees are invited to bring a brown bag lunch; bottled water will be available.
Â Further details: Selma Botman came to the helm at USM last summer as the school’s 10th president. Prior to that she served as executive vice chancellor and university provost for The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public university. Under her leadership, CUNY’s academic reputation flourished and the institution became a national model of excellence in contemporary urban public education.
President Botman has demonstrated that same commitment to ensuring student success at USM.Â In her view, “Universities must serve as drivers of economic development, generators of new knowledge, centers of cultural and recreational opportunities and pathways to student success that culminate in thoughtful citizenship, satisfying careers and principled lives. The success of our students is, in fact, the most important indication that USM is doing the job entrusted to us by the State of Maine: providing the best education possible.”
Throughout her career as an administrator and professor, Botman has supported faculty in their critical roles as teachers and researchers; created academic programs that are innovative and relevant; and developed collaborative relationships with community partners.
One of the first projects she designed at CUNY was The Campaign for Student Success, a university-wide project whose purpose is to ensure that students excel in both their general education and in their majors. In addition to guiding the effort to create a School of Public Health and a new Teacher Academy, she helped develop a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and CUNY’s first-ever fully online degree. Working hard to make certain that students of all backgrounds have opportunities to benefit from CUNY’s intellectual resources, she championed the importance of associate’s degree programs that remove barriers to college completion.
Before joining the staff at CUNY, Botman – who grew up outside of Boston – served as special assistant to the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She was also vice president for academic affairs at the statewide University of Massachusetts system for six years. While at UMass, she led a five-campus environmental studies initiative that addressed community needs, and she strengthened technology and engineering education throughout the state by bringing together K-12 teachers, university faculty, and retired engineers to design new programs that were introduced to secondary schools. She also visited 60 high schools across the state to promote the University’s academic, cultural and athletic strengths.
Botman holds a B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University, a B.Phil. in Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University, and an A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies and a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. She is a scholar of modern Middle Eastern politics and society who has taught and published extensively.
President Botman will take questions from the audience following her Forum presentation. Admission to the event is free, with attendees invited to bring brown-bag lunches. Bottled water will be available on site.
Attendees may also take advantage of the Forum’s partnership with Guthries cafe and request one of the eatery’s custom-made, gourmet sandwiches to be delivered to the library in advance of the talk. Orders should be placed by calling Guthries at 376-3344, preferably by 7 p.m. on the day before the event. The menu is available atÂ www.myspace.com/guthriesplaceÂ .
Partnering with the Library as cosponsors of the Great Falls Forum series are the Lewiston Sun Journal, Bates College, and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.
Posted: Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 in Lecture
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