Chancellor Page Marks UMaine Progress and State Leadership in Last Campus Forum with Flagship Faculty and Staff

100 percent of tuition and fee expenses covered with grants and scholarships for
799 Maine undergraduates at UMaine — nearly 1 in 4 full-time Maine students at the flagship

UMaine advancing workforce readiness in STEM fields and professions with critical needs
like engineering and nursing, expanding Maine-focused capacity in research and economic development

Orono, Maine —  University of Maine System Chancellor James H. Page participated in his last campus forum at the University of Maine today. During the community discussion in Wells Conference Center, the Chancellor commended the statewide leadership and service of faculty and staff at the System’s flagship campus. The Chancellor will retire June 30.

The Chancellor and University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy also led an open, interactive discussion on the Board of Trustees’ Declaration of Strategic Priorities, how campus priorities align with them, and how they guide the evolution of the campus and the University of Maine System. A focus of the conversation was the implications for UMaine of the Strategic Plan for Research and Development Ferrini-Mundy presented to the Board in March.

“The University of Maine has a 150-year legacy of scholarship, Maine-focused research and state service,” said Page. “Today’s faculty, staff and leadership are building on the flagship’s traditions, creating partnerships, and deploying the institution’s resources and talent in focused support of Maine people and communities. UMaine’s emphasis on discovery and advancing as a 21st-Century research university increased expenditures to nearly $130 million last year impacting many economic sectors, preserving culture, and improving community and human health.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to recognize our colleagues at UMaine for the progress we have made together, and the continued campus commitment to partnership across the state and particularly at the University of Maine at Machias.”

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. Advancements and plans at the University of Maine that exemplify these outcomes include:

Increasing Maine Education Attainment

799 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 UMaine to cover the full cost of tuition and fees with grants, scholarships and waivers for 799 full-time undergraduate Maine students this academic year. Cost of attendance can include other expenses. Eligibility for aid, which can include student loans, varies.

  • The UMaine Financial Aid Office awarded aid packages averaging $14,128 to 10,063 students last year.
  • A $5.5 million increase in grant and scholarship aid (10.1 percent increase) is proposed for the upcoming year to support UMaine learners and help lower student debt. UMaine has increased institutional aid 103 percent since 2012.
  • 250 Waivers Funded: 162 students receive a tuition and fee waiver as an eligible Native American student, a qualifying dependent of a veteran, a first responder killed in the line of duty, or as a student living in foster care.  A total of 88 waivers were awarded to Maine Top Scholars or National Merit Semi-Finalists.

Early College Enrollment Grows 121 Percent at UMaine: Early college students are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college and earn a college degree in four years with less student loan debt. Early college also strengthens curriculum and educational offerings in Maine’s local schools. The University of Maine System, supported in part by a $3.1 million proposed investment in early college by Gov. Janet Mills, is aiming to grow enrollment to 5,000 early college students by 2022. UMaine contributions this year include growing enrollment by 121 percent to 677 students and expanding partnerships to include 96 local high schools.

Think 30: Four-year graduates owe $11,000 less in student loans than their peers who take five years to earn their degree. UMaine’s Think 30initiative has brought UMaine’s four-year graduation rate to an all-time high through student engagement, and by offering online, summer university and winter session opportunities.

Workforce Readiness and Economic Development

STEM Education and Professions with Critical Maine Needs: UMaine is investing in innovation and creating new partnerships to build the size and skills of the Maine workforce. The planned Engineering Education and Design Center will create education capacity. The Maine Engineering Pathways Program gives students at System campuses a chance to start engineering education closer to home. Through its Nursing Outreach in Rural Maine initiative, UMaine is launching a cohort at UMM in the 2019–20 academic year that will prepare local residents for positions in nursing that have to be filled to sustain community access to quality health care.

A 47.5 Percent Five-Year Increase in Out-of-State Enrollment: Breadth and depth of opportunities at Maine’s flagship and public research university combine with one of the nation’s strongest commitments to affordability to attract young talent to Maine. Many UMaine students from out-of-state stay in Maine to begin their careers.

Research and Development: UMaine, the state’s public research university, is leading System efforts to strengthen research and economic development to support Maine industries, and to foster business formation and expansion as outlined in the Board’s Declaration of Strategic Priorities. Approximately 500 full-time faculty and staff were supported by research expenditures at UMaine in FY18, and 878 students received more than $6 million in wages, tuition and insurance coverage from research funding, grants and contracts. The $5.8 million in Research Re-Investment Fund awards has had an $18.2 million impact.

One University Collaborations

The Primary Partnership with the University of Maine at Machias: In July 2017, Maine’s coastal university became a regional campus of the University of Maine. The new model, based on the concept of “mutualism,” creates new opportunities for scholarship, research, discovery, and student- and state-focused service.

Partnerships with Maine’s Public Universities: UMaine is collaborating with UMS campuses to create new pathways to success for students and to serve Maine:

  • UMA: Partnering to deliver academic programming and support services to students who need additional preparation to succeed in college
  • UMF: Delivering a Master of Education in Instructional Technology
  • UMFK: Coordinating to provide research and administrative support
  • UMPI: Sharing faculty positions that support Maine’s resource-based economy
  • USM: Established a single graduate school of business to serve Maine, and to collaborate with the Maine Center for Graduate and Professional Studies
  • System: Building a stronger Maine food economy by continuing to exceed the UMS local food goal — 23 percent or $1.2 million in purchases in first half of FY19

“Every day brings new opportunities to be impressed by the talent, ingenuity and dedication to student and state success that we have at the University of Maine,” said Ferrini-Mundy. “We have made great progress and are positioned to deliver on the strategic priorities set by the Board.

“Working with our sister campuses and our education, economic and community partners across the state, we are committed to the creation of an early-childhood to end-of-career continuum of public education that is responsively aligned to Maine’s workforce and community needs. As the state’s public research university, UMaine will also lead efforts to attract investment and expand the state’s research and commercialization capacity to establish an innovation-driven Maine economy for the 21st century.”

Distributed 4/16/19