Agenda for Action
The University of Maine System unites seven distinctive public universities in a common purpose to provide quality higher education at affordable cost, to strengthen the Maine economy through research and outreach, and to improve the lives of all Maine citizens. Working collaboratively with Maine’s community colleges, K-12 providers, businesses, industry, and government, Maine’s university system will help make Maine a better place to live and work by increasing the role, value, reputation, and impact of the Universities of the University of Maine System. Below are the five pillars of the Agenda for Action:
1. Student Success
Goal: UMS will continue to increase the quality of its academic learning environment, its programs, and the overall student experience to ensure students gain the most from their work and graduate in increasing numbers.
- Increase the number of baccalaureate-degree graduates to 5000 per year by 2012
- Increase financial aid by 20% by 2012, not including loans, to ensure affordability
- Expand university-based initiatives to achieve progress in:
- Program quality
- Retention and graduation
- Providing faculty with the tools and developmental opportunities to meet the needs of the 21st Century.
2. Strengthening the Economy of Maine (R&D&E)
Goal: UMS will broaden its impact on economic development through Research, Development, and Education initiatives that enhance the vitality of Maine’s economy. Each university will participate according to their mission so that all universities are fully engaged in this essential work.
Increase external funding to $150 million per year by 2012.
Increase the percentage of Maine’s workforce with baccalaureate degrees to 20% by 2012
Increase Maine Economic Improvement Fund by 25% by 2012
Establish a special MEIF fund to provide support for all UMS universities
Promote the importance of the liberal arts and baccalaureate education to the creative economy and a strong civic culture
Increase the number and level of engagement of partnerships with businesses, industry, and government
Increase the number of graduates in essential disciplines by 25% by 2012; including:
Doctorates and Masters in the State’s seven strategic research areas.
Baccalaureates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
Baccalaureates in nursing and health related professions
Teacher Certification (i.e., math, sciences, foreign languages, and special education)
3. Environmental Stewardship
Goal: UMS will be recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible university systems in America. This work will be a common thread in all activities of the System, including being embedded in the curriculum, building standards, energy usage, recycling programs, transportation, and monitoring systems.
Monitor and reduce BTU/sq. ft. usage by 2012 in existing buildings through energy renovations
Require LEED standards and metering on all new buildings and renovations
Become one of the first university systems to have each university carry-out the Presidents Climate Commitment by developing a comprehensive plan to attain climate neutrality
Demonstrate environmental stewardship in efforts regarding:
4. Financial Sustainability
Goal: UMS will continue to be a financially stable enterprise over the long run, addressing the key issues and challenges of the future through a multi-year planning process that embraces prudent financial controls, transparency, cost containment, revenue enhancement, and optimal sizing of the institutions, functions, and activities.
- Hold annual cost increases to the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI)
- Fund retiree healthcare annual costs by 2012
- Fully fund annual capital depreciation by 2017
- Maintain health care premium rate increases for active employees at no more than the New England healthcare cost trend average
- The System and each university will monitor and achieve goals for selected financial indicators:
- Operational Statement - break even or slightly positive net change annually
- Debt service coverage ratio – strive for operational cash flow to be 2 times debt service
- Unrestricted net assets to debt – strive for unrestricted net assets to be one-third of debt
- Annual debt service shall not exceed 5% of annual expenses
- Maintain or increase instructional and academic support expenditures as a percentage of the total operating budget
5. Higher Education Advocacy
Goal: UMS will be a leading voice in advancing the role and value of higher education in Maine. The University System will work with other higher education institutions, related organizations, and the private sector to encourage student participation, secure additional private and public support, and develop linkages and synergies that enhance the overall mission of the University System.
- Fully implement an integrated University System communication and outreach plan
- Increase the University System’s advocacy network membership by 100% by 2012
- By 2012, in statewide surveys, achieve agreement by 75 percent of Maine citizens about the value and necessity for public higher education to Maine's economy and quality of life