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USM Decides Against Name Change


The University of Southern Maine has decided against changing its name for the foreseeable future.

USM President Glenn Cummings announced Friday that the school will withdraw a bill proposed for the upcoming legislative session that would have changed its name to the University of Maine at Portland. University leaders and some area groups supported the name change, which they said could attract more out-of-state students.

But some local legislators have publicly opposed the change due to its estimated $1.2 million cost. They also argued that other southern Maine communities would feel less connected to the school. Cummings says those concerns were all carefully considered.

“So we take those very seriously,” says Cummings. “We've had conversations with them, and we think there are some productive ways forward for us to approach getting out-of-state students.”

Cummings says that by pulling back on the name change for at least the next legislative session, the school will have time to construct a new Portland dormitory and convene a task force to discuss other ways to boost out-of-state enrollment.