Chancellor Page Recognizes Advancements of Maine’s Public Liberal Arts College in Final Campus Forum at UMF

518 Maine students attending UMF this year with tuition and fees covered by grants and scholarships as investments in aid and commitment to affordability pay off

UMF expanding education programming and innovating to support local schools and meet Maine’s need for highly qualified early-childhood and K-12 educators

FARMINGTON, MAINE — University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page participated in his last campus forum at the University of Maine at Farmington today.  During the community discussion in Lincoln Auditorium the Chancellor provided an update on the search for a new UMF president and commended faculty and staff for innovations that are improving opportunities and outcomes for students.

The Chancellor also led a conversation on how the Board’s Declaration of Strategic Priorities expands and extends the One University framework so that campus objectives will be better aligned with System outcomes, leading to greater success for Maine people.

The University of Maine System is conducting a national search for a new president for the University of Maine at Farmington.  The campus-engaged search process will include campus visits with candidates beginning on April 17th with plans to introduce a new campus leader in late May or June.

The University of Maine at Farmington is also searching for a Vice President of Student Affairs.  The new senior leader will be charged with directing all aspects of campus life and student support, including the university’s commitment to strengthening institutional  responsiveness around issues of sexual harassment and assault. The search committee, which includes student leaders, began reviewing applications in early April.

“The Board and I would like to thank Interim President Eric Brown for providing able and supportive leadership at the University of Maine at Farmington,” said Chancellor Page. “We also want to recognize the staff, faculty, and especially student leaders who have stepped forward to support the university and its students this year.”

The Declaration of Strategic Priorities adopted in December commits Maine’s public university to the establishment of an employer-engaged, efficient and cost-effective continuum of public education that provides the people of Maine with access to flexible, relevant 21st Century learning from early childhood to retirement.

“The University of Maine at Farmington is innovating to serve Maine learners and communities while adhering to our public university commitments to fiscal stewardship and student affordability,” said Chancellor Page.  “The Board and I appreciate UMF’s accomplishments over the last year and compliment faculty and staff for their student-focused public service.”

During the campus forum the Chancellor led a discussion on aligning System and campus objectives in service to Maine people.  Highlighted UMF initiatives include the following examples.

Affordability — 518 Maine Students Attending Free of Tuition and Fee Expense:  Investments in institutional financial aid and one of the nation’s best commitments to affordability made it possible for UMF to cover the full cost of tuition and fees with grants and scholarships for 518 Maine students this year.  Cost of attendance can include other expenses and eligibility for aid, which can include student loans, varies. The UMF financial aid office awarded aid packages averaging $12,373 to 1,823 students last year.  Other notable campus debt and affordability initiatives include:

  • 16% increase in institutional aid, to $5.2MM in UMF’s FY20 budget;
  • New, $1.25 million innovative, progressively increasing Persistence Scholarship awards beginning after successively advancing in each grade level and culminating in a total of $4,500 as an incentive to encourage student success and progress toward graduation.  The first class eligible for consideration enrolled as first-year, full-time students in Fall 2018; and,
  • Financial Literacy Peer Education Program funded by a grant from the office of then-Attorney General Janet Mills provides comprehensive personal financial education for students to help improve financial well being and reduce debt.

Academic Innovation to Meet Workforce Needs:  UMF is building on its reputation as a premier public liberal arts college and a state leader in teacher education, pursuing a number of academic innovations to better prepare students for Maine’s workforce needs:

  • Undergraduate certificates in GIS, Alpine Operations, English Language Learners, and Addiction Rehabilitation to enhance career credentials;
  • New graduate-level certificates in Special Education K-8 and Special Education 6-12,  Special Education Administration (Pre-K-12), and K-12 Math Interventionist to prepare teachers to identify and address the needs of students who need assistance in mathematics;
  • A proposal for a new Master’s degree in Special Education is in the final stages of review, with the goal of preparing more certified special education teachers and special education administrators to meet workforce demand.

One University Collaboration:  The new Farmington Forward Partnership is working with the University of Maine at Augusta to deliver academic programming and support services to students who need additional preparation to succeed in college.  Other examples include:

  • 3+2 Pathway to a Masters in Counseling and Social Work with USM;
  • Maine Engineering Pathways Program with UMaine;
  • 3+3 Pathway with the Maine School of Law;
  • Delivery of an off campus Early Childhood Education Program in partnership with SMCC; and,
  • Discussing the development of a concentration in Outdoor Recreation Management with the UMaine Graduate School of Business.

“The expectations of higher education and the role of individual institutions must change to reflect the demands of today’s learners and the workforce and community needs of Maine,” said Eric Brown, Interim President of the University of Maine at Farmington.  “At Farmington we have a proud tradition of scholarship, academic leadership, and community service. UMF also has a shared commitment to the collaboration needed to create a continuum of public education discovery and learning that prepares students of all ages and backgrounds for life and leadership in our state.”

The University of Maine at Farmington
A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

Distribution 4/12/19