Is Controversial New UMaine Policy Because Of This Professor?

UMaine Professor Amy Fried has racked up more than 94,000 mostly partisan tweets. Photo from Twitter.

ORONO – Multiple news reports today indicate that the University of Maine System is considering a new policy that more strictly prohibits certain political activity by employees out of concern that the system could lose it’s non-profit status for allowing openly partisan political activity while employees are “on the clock” at work, on university grounds or using university property.

Perhaps no UMS employee has taken advantage of apparent leniency in the current political activity policy than Professor Amy Fried at the systems’s flagship Orono campus.



Professor Fried is a prominent partisan on Twitter’s Maine political feed #mepolitics, producing several highly partisan or critical tweets in an average day. Fried’s profile page shows she has produced a whopping number of Tweets, exceeding 94,000 as of the writing of this piece.

Fried is an author and political scientist, best known for her expertise in political polling, though many of her predictions in Maine elections of late have not been highly accurate according to a review of her political blog at the Bangor Daily News, where she writes regularly.

She is also a member of the Scholars Strategy Network, a national coalition of academics that advocate for liberal public policy. At the SSN one of Fried’s colleagues has been Jonathan Gruber, the Obama administration official best known for claiming Obamacare’s passage relied upon the “stupidity of the American voter.” Fried and Gruber have both been vocal advocates of Obamacare.

UMS officials are reportedly concerned that too much partisan political activity by UMS employees could imperil the system’s non-profit status. UMS also receives more than $200 million in Maine state taxpayer funding.



Below are some examples of Professor Amy Fried’s tweets.

 

January 7, 2018 – Suggesting a senior White House official should be arrested:

 

January 4, 2018 – Criticizing White House Press Secretary for saying “Democrat” instead of “Democratic”:

Criticizing WH Press Secretary for not using a partisan phrase to her liking.

 

January 2, 2018 – Spreading a Mother Jones conspiracy theory that the Trump administration
is trying to rig elections through the census:

Spreading conspiracy theory that the Trump administration is rigging elections through the census.

 



The UMS policy change is reportedly designed to prevent professors and other UMS employees from participating in “legislative advocacy” without permission of the Chancellor’s office or other high-ranking officials, according to a report from the Bangor Daily News.

Given the system’s dependence upon hundreds of millions of state and federal tax dollars and IRS non-profit status, some people are wondering if UMS officials are trying to button up their operation and prevent any confusion between the partisan political “advocacy” style of Professor Amy Fried and what administrators actually want government officials and funding appropriators to hear from them regarding the best interests of the entire University of Maine system.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below.

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