Maine Higher Education Leaders Convene to Develop Common Reopening Framework

Working Group Led by Chancellor Malloy to Offer Planning Guide to Governor Mills

Orono, Maine — The leaders of Maine’s higher education institutions are working together to develop a reopening framework that will be shared with Maine Governor Janet Mills. The education leaders have committed to developing standards and practices that can help guide decision making regarding the safe reopening of Maine’s colleges and universities this fall.

The group plans to present its report to Governor Mills and state health officials in early June.

University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy convened the initial meeting of college and university presidents and system leaders and will lead the working group charged with developing the framework.

“Maine’s response to COVID-19 has been guided by science and careful planning so we can all take sensible steps to protect each other,” said Chancellor Malloy. “Colleges and universities bring people together. Collectively we will develop the guiding principles for the criteria and practices we can all use to safely welcome our communities back to our campuses this fall, and we’ll be sharing them with Maine’s public health officials by early June.

Maine’s private colleges and universities will be co-equal partners with the public institution counterparts in developing the guiding principles that will be offered to Governor Mills and public health officials.

“No one can say with certainty how COVID-19 will be impacting our communities and institutions come fall,” said Bates College President Clayton Spencer. “Committing as a state to a set of higher education reopening steps and alternatives will improve our planning and provide assurances that student and community health remain our foremost consideration.

Working Group Members will include:

Dan Malloy, Chancellor, University of Maine System;

Jim Thelen, Chief of Staff and General Counsel, University of Maine System;

James Dlugos, President, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and President, Maine Independent Colleges Association;

Joan Ferrini-Mundy, President, University of Maine;

David Daigler, President, Maine Community College System;

Clayton Spencer, President, Bates College; and

Joshua Hamilton, Provost, University of New England (President Herbert’s delegate).