State position: Member and chair, University of Maine System Board of Trustees (unpaid)
University of Maine System job: Vice President for Advancement at University of Southern Maine
Date of appointment: March 2009
Job advertised: Yes
Job search: Yes
Approved by: System Board of Trustees
Education requirements: BA
Her degree: BA in communications, Master in Fine Arts
Her comment: Weston said someone in the System, possibly in human resources, mentioned the USM job to her while she was a trustee. Her board term had expired but she had stayed on until a replacement was named. When the USM job opened up, “I thought it was appropriate for me to resign before being considered for that” job. She felt she was qualified for the position because she had fundraised as a volunteer for other nonprofits and had attracted investments when she was an executive in the business world. She points out that her trustee position was unpaid, so she was not an employee of the Baldacci administration, only a volunteer appointee.
System comments: USM President Selma Botman said in an email, “It is my understanding that Judy Ryan, former Vice President for Human Development, may have called Meg Weston to inform her of the advancement opening” while Weston was trustee.
“I selected Meg Weston because of her long-standing work in Maine in business and philanthropy, her commitment to public higher education, and her knowledge of corporations, foundations and donors in the community,” Botman said. “I saw Meg Weston as a perfect partner.”
However, System Trustee Joe Wishcamper, who was chair of the board until recently, said, “In retrospect, that hire was not good judgment at all.”
Background: The report from the USM search committee showed that eight of the nine finalists had higher scores than Weston based on their resumes and applications. She had the highest ranking in the more subjective phone interview category.
Tracy Bigney, the System’s human resources chief, said that in response to the Weston appointment, the trustees adopted a new ethics policy requiring a one-year waiting period between leaving the board and taking a System job “to avoid a perception of conflict of interest or any impropriety.”