State job: Director, Bureau of General Services
University of Maine System job: Director, Facilities Management and General Services, UMS
Date of appointment: January 2011
Job advertised: Yes
Job search: Yes
Approved by: Rebecca Wyke, System vice chancellor and treasurer
Education requirements: BA in business, architecture, engineering, construction management or public administration
His degree: BA in psychology
His comment: Did not respond to request for comment.
System comment: Tracy Bigney , the human resources chief for the System, said, “The experience Chip had was very relevant,” and, she added, “the job included not only facilities management but also procurement, where he had experience from his state position.”
“We didn’t need an engineer for this job … The search committee must have looked at this and determined he met the requirements.”
Background: Gavin got into state government on the public relations side working for elected officials in Maine and Massachusetts. He had no experience in facilities management and only four years in procurement. The System’s search committee “work-in-progress” notes cite three strengths in Gavin’s application and four weaknesses. And one of the System’s employees who filled out a “feedback” form after meeting with Gavin wrote that he “should not be selected for this position since he does not have the required qualifications,” according to a confidential report obtained by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
Among the finalists was John Furman, a former Coast Guard facilities commanding officer who held two civil engineering degrees and a Certificate of Facilities Management, the industry standard for the field.
The system’s search committee rated Furman strong in seven areas and noted only one “con”: no experience in higher education, but neither did Gavin.
“It seemed like they were a little more comfortable with people they knew” and were “skeptical” of former military, Furman says now. He subsequently became facilities manager for Western Washington University.