Some supporters say the creation of a board will save money, but will it?

Mal Leary of Maine’s NPR News Source reports:

Maine Lawmaker Proposes Creating a Unified Board for Higher Education

Among the proposals up for consideration in the Maine Legislature this year is a plan by Lewiston Democrat Peggy Rotundo to consolidate the boards of Maine’s higher education systems into just one.

Supporters say the change would save money, and that there would be other benefits as well.

Rep. Rotundo says it is the third time in her long career as a lawmaker that she has sought to change the way Maine’s public colleges and universities are governed. Rotundo, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, says study after study has called for greater coordination among higher education providers in the state.

“My observation, having served on Appropriations for many years now,” she says, “is that the two systems, with some exceptions, pretty much exist within silos.”

Rotundo says with increasing costs of higher education and decreasing enrollments, it’s time to look at both the colleges and universities as a unified system, rather than as competitors vying for for students and scarce state resources.

“This is much more than a cost savings,” Rotundo says. “This is, how do we create the strongest higher education system that we can for Maine people?”