3/24/14: UMS Trustees Approve 26 Nominations for Tenure
Each March tenure nominations are the focus
MACHIAS – Twenty-six candidates for tenure were approved today by the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System. Each March, tenure is a major focus at the Trustees meeting. The group met for a regularly scheduled two-day meeting held Sunday and Monday at the University of Maine at Machias.
Trustees received several presentations including one on the System-wide administrative review of the Facilities Management function. Four recommendations were presented to Trustees: right-size the facility portfolio to reduce costs and improve the quality of facilities; identify and fund the long-term capital needs of the System; review current prioritized process for best practices and improvements; and benchmark UMS operations and institutionalize selected benchmarks.
Trustees also were presented with a financial update which included a look at the University System’s structural budget gap. Chancellor James H. Page said that universities are currently working to finalize budgets and submit them to the System Office. The entire System budget will be presented to Trustees at their next meeting in May.
Page called the University of Maine System Maine’s most important public asset and said that it alone has the resources, scope and scale, and—above all—the responsibility to engage with all Maine citizens, businesses, and communities. He added that in order for the System to remain a viable asset, the business and education model that has been in place for decades must be changed.
“Our entire organization—across the state—is restructuring and reducing costs while ensuring that our core mission is enhanced and not compromised,” Chancellor Page said. “We will be smaller, but we will have greater impact by providing greater levels of service and by making education more affordable.”
“We clearly hear the concerns of our faculty and students at USM and campuses across the state. These are very difficult times. Our universities are facing unprecedented challenges and the Board of Trustees and Presidents agree that we must redefine the way we do business to better serve our students, businesses, and the state,” Page explained. “All of our universities are making campus-based decisions in order to meet these challenges. These are not easy or hastily made decisions—they were made following extensive review at all levels of the System.”
Board chair Samuel Collins of Caribou also addressed those in attendance regarding the budget issues. “We are not alone. If you look around the country, universities from Maine to California are facing these economic and demographic challenges. Unfortunately, our universities have to make difficult decisions in order to ensure the future of public higher education in Maine. Simply put, we must live within our means going forward. As difficult as these decisions are, they have to be made so we are sustainable in the future.”
In other activities at the meeting, Trustees also approved:
- A new academic program at the University of Southern Maine in Information Technology, a 2+2 program closely coordinated with three area community colleges, in order to help meet the state’s IT workforce needs;
- An expansion project at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono;
- Relocation of UMA’s University College Center in Saco from its present location on Saco Island to the Saco Valley Shopping Center;
- Upgrades at UMPI’s Folsom/Pullen Science Classroom and Laboratory;
- Renovations to Dearborn Gymnasium at UMF; and,
- Recommendations for the System’s FY2015 Outcomes-based Funding Model.
Materials from the board meeting are posted here:
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the state’s largest educational enterprise. It has an annual enrollment of nearly 40,000 students and serves over 500,000 individuals annually through educational and cultural offerings. Two-thirds of its alumni—approximately 120,000 people—live in Maine. The University of Maine System features seven universities—some with multiple campuses—located across the state, as well as eight University College outreach centers, a law school, and an additional 31 course sites. For more information, visit www.maine.edu.