June 4, 2020

As the University community reels from the horrific and violent death of Mr. George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers; the images of politically-motivated violence against peaceful protesters in Washington DC and other places; and the palpable anger, fear, sadness, social tension, and polarization in America’s streets, homes, and workplaces, we—the Officers and Representatives of the UMaine Chapter of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine, the union representing more than 500 faculty members—condemn in the strongest terms these racist, unjust, and violent acts. We clearly and unabashedly denounce police brutality and support de-escalation tactics among those that protect and serve our communities, and we are pleased to see the clear condemnation of violence released by the UMPD (6/1/2020).

We hurt with the friends and loved ones of Mr. Floyd and all those lost to racist violence and police brutality. We send our heartfelt condolences. And we are angry. Our values as a union are those of compassion, justice, and human dignity, as we work for safe and fair workspaces. The events of the past few days are neither safe nor fair. They highlight the structural inequalities of race and class and the racial ideologies—at times overt but often unspoken—that devalue the lives of Black people in America and other people of color. That COVID-19 disproportionately affects poor people and communities of color cruelly exposes the dual pandemics that today plague our society.

The gravity of these events means that we must do more than echo our common values of inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance, which are noble and necessary for change but not enough. We must live these values and act to protect the safety and dignity of every person in our community and strive in our actions for equality and justice. We must treat one another with kindness. We must listen to one another, reaching across our differences. We are all stronger because of these differences. But we must also do more.

We must act. The UMaine Chapter of AFUM is committed to antiracism. Racism is antithetical to our values of compassion, justice, human dignity, safety, and fairness. Antiracist actions and speech expose racism and thwart it. In taking these actions, we must unpack America’s brutal and violent history of racial and cultural injustice and the role universities have played in that history. We note that UMaine sits on the traditional lands of the Penobscot Nation. We will work with other University of Maine stakeholders to study and reveal modern institutional and systemic racism and endeavor to eliminate them within our University community. We will work to promote understanding of implicit bias that shapes our workplace interactions and workspaces. We acknowledge that these changes will take time, as many aspects of racism are hidden and unspoken, yet painfully real in their effects.

We view all members of the University of Maine community as allies in this effort. If you are a faculty member, we welcome your ideas and active involvement in UMaine AFUM and our efforts to bring about these positive changes. We need you. If you are a staff member or administrator, know that we want to make this a better place for everyone to work, and we will partner with you. And if you are a student, know that the UMaine faculty cares about you, your well-being, and the quality of your education. AFUM is committed to a safe and fair University of Maine.

In the coming weeks, UMaine AFUM will develop a scholarship in George Floyd’s name to nurture our students and remember a life taken away forcibly, and we anticipate that students will be able to apply in the fall. AFUM is committed to a safe and fair University of Maine.

In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter,

Dr. Lisa Neuman, President

Dr. Pankaj Agrrawal, Vice President

Dr. Sandy Caron, Secretary

Dr. David Clark, Treasurer

Lynn Atkins, MS, NSFA Representative

Dr. Michael Grillo, CLAS Representative

Dr. Mark Haggerty, HON Representative

Dr. Shaleen Jain, ENG Representative

Dr. Ian M. Mette, EHD Representative

Dr. Stephanie Welcomer, MBS Representative


For more information about the George Floyd AFUM Scholarship for students at the University of Maine, please contact lisa.neuman@maine.edu. A donation button will be added to this site in the coming weeks.









Chapter Officers

Lisa Neuman
204 Corbett Hall

Vice President
Pank Agrrawal
305 DPC Business Bldg

Sandra (Sandy) L. Caron
220 Merrill Hall

David E. Clark
205 Bennett Hall

Negotiating Team Member
James P. McClymer, Chair
206 Bennett Hall

Grievance Officer
Michael Grillo
219 Lord Hall

College Reps

Stephanie Welcomer
DPC Business Building

Ian Mette
334 Merrill Hall

Shaleen Jain
313 Boardman Hall

Mark Haggerty
103 Colvin Hall

Liberal Arts and Sciences
Michael Grillo
219 Lord Hall

Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture
Lynn Atkins
207 Murray Hall

School and Department Reps

  • Anthropology: Lisa Neuman, 204 Corbett, 581-4489, lisa.neuman@maine.edu
  • Native American Programs: Lisa Neuman, 327C Aubert Hall, 581-4489, lisa.neuman@maine.edu
  • Philosophy: Michael Howard, The Maples #5, 581-3861, mhoward@maine.edu
  • School of Performing Arts: Webb Parker, Class of 1944 Hall, webb.parker@maine.edu