Naming of Beryl Warner Williams Hall Approved
Board provides design authorization for UMaine’s $71M Green Engineering and Materials ‘Factory of the Future.’ Facility will build on success of Advanced Structures and Composites Center, pursue emerging opportunities in funded research, and support enrollment growth in the $150M Maine College of Engineering, Computing, and Information Science
Orono, Maine — The University of Maine System announced last week that it will delay final approval of the FY22 budget to provide time to develop a spending plan that holds tuition flat for in-state students for the upcoming academic year. The opportunity to forgo the planned 2.5% inflation-based adjustment to tuition charges for Maine residents follows the Governor’s proposed 3% increase in state support for UMS and better-than-anticipated deposit activity for fall 2021 new student enrollment. Final approval of the budget will occur in June.
A full accounting of Board actions will be available shortly on the Board website. Some of the key decisions and presentations to come before the Board at its May meeting include:
Naming of Beryl Warner Williams Hall at UMaine Approved: The Board approved the naming of Beryl Warner Williams Hall at the University of Maine. Beryl Elizabeth Warner Williams, a native of Bangor, Maine, was born in 1913. She earned two degrees from UMaine (a bachelor’s in mathematics with honors and a minor in English in 1935, and a master’s in mathematics in 1940). She also held an honorary Doctorate of Pedagogy from UMaine in 1972. In addition to her lifelong career as an educator, Beryl Williams engaged in civic activities, including the NAACP, the American Red Cross, and the American Association of University Women. She passed away in 1999.
Election of Board Officers: The University of Maine System Board of Trustees will be chaired by Mark Gardner for the 2021–2022 Board year beginning at the end of the May meeting. Trustee Gardner joined the Board in September 2012, and has served on and chaired the Finance, Facilities, and Technology Committee, and served as vice chair.
Trustee James Donnelly will serve as vice chair for the upcoming year. Donnelly, who first joined the Board in September 2014, has served as chair of the Finance, Facilities, and Technology Committee.
Board Authorizes Extension of Chancellor Malloy’s Appointment: The Board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Chancellor Review Team to negotiate an extension of the Chancellor’s employment contract with the University of Maine System. The Chancellor’s initial three-year appointment is from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2022. It is the Board’s practice to take up reappointment actions one year in advance of the end of a term of the Chancellor and Presidents. See Tab 4.
“The University of Maine System has benefited tremendously from Chancellor Malloy’s leadership,” said Erwin.
Update From UMS Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation: In the state of Maine, research and development accounts for only 0.8% of State Gross Domestic Product compared to 4.4% in New England states and 2.7% nationally. In March, Chancellor Malloy asked UMaine and UMM President Joan Ferrini-Mundy to expand her role to include an appointment as vice chancellor for research and innovation. The appointment formalizes the work Ferrini-Mundy has been doing to unify research planning and implementation across UMS, and explore how to expand the UMS innovation activity to serve Maine and beyond.
The VCRI report highlighted initial engagement across UMS and with stakeholders across the state. Ferrini-Mundy spoke about opportunities for working with Maine’s Congressional Delegation on Congressionally Directed Spending ideas from UMS, utilization of American Rescue Plan funds through Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, building capacity in key research areas, and preparing a Maine workforce that has experience in research and innovation. See Tab 2.
Design for $71M Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) “Factory of the Future”: The Board of Trustees approved expending up to $1.5M to proceed with design work of the GEM Laboratory that will house the research “Factory of the Future” at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The state-of-the-art facility would build on the success of ASCC, which has increased external grants and contracts by six-fold, reaching over $30M per year today. The GEM Lab would usher in a new era of AI-enabled, large-scale additive manufacturing and house a “Factory of the Future,” where printers and sensors are used to manufacture and test new products.
The facility will position UMaine, the state’s only research university, to pursue $260M in identified opportunities in funded research and assist manufacturers with the commercialization of new products. The new space will support enrollment growth and career-ready degree attainment in the $150M Maine College of Engineering, Computing, and Information Science being developed with a $75M commitment from the Harold Alfond Foundation.
The $71M project cost is an early estimate, and the university will seek federal, state and private funds to complete construction. The project will come back to the Board for future updates and approvals. See Tab 11 and navigate to the GEM Laboratory Presentation.
Master of Science in Data Science Approved for USM: The Board approved the creation of a Master of Science in Data Science for the University of Southern Maine. The multidisciplinary program involves existing and proposed courses in computer science and statistics with support from public health, business analytics, and geographic information systems. See Tab 18.
Repaving MaineStreet for Unified Accreditation: UMS runs three modules of the PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning platform for student information, human resources, and financials. When initially deployed 16 years ago, the campus-based data configurations were done separately, compromising opportunities for students to access courses across campuses and the development of multi-university programming. The Board authorized expending up to $7.8M for the first two years of the “repaving MaineStreet” ERP reimplementation initiative.
Last June, the University of Maine System became the first state higher education enterprise to unify the separate accreditation of multiple universities under a System Accreditation.
More than 50% of the University of Maine System’s physical plant has a renovation age — time since construction or major improvements — of greater than 50 years. UMS tracks and updates the performance indicators and the net asset value of university facilities annually. Improving the capital infrastructure of Maine’s public universities is a strategic priority for UMS.
$3.7M Renovation Authorized for UMPI’s Wieden Hall: The Board approved expending up to $3.7M to begin renovations to Weiden Hall, funded by the UMS Workforce Development Bond approved by voters in 2018. The renovations will help meet the needs of UMPI’s student athletic program and build enrollment in relevant health-related academic programs. See Tab 8.
$2.1M Renovation for Randall Student Center: UMA received authorization to expend up to $2.1M to finance improvements creating a “hub” for student spaces and services, including admissions, advising, registrar and student financial aid. See Tab 9.
Lease Authorization for Maine Law and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center: The Board authorized UMS to negotiate and execute a lease agreement for an interim home for the Law School and the Maine Center at 300 Fore St., Portland. UMS will be seeking endorsement for its intended uses from the City of Portland and making the necessary changes to the facility to accommodate classes in the coming months. See Tab 12.
The links provided above are to the Board materials posted at the time of the meeting. If the materials get updated following the meeting, the links will become inactive and you can visit the Board meeting agenda page to find an update.
About the University of Maine System
Established in 1968, the University of Maine System (UMS) unites six distinctive public universities, comprising 10 campuses and numerous centers, in the common purpose of providing quality higher education while delivering on its traditional tripartite mission of teaching, research, and public service.
In 2020, UMS became the first and only statewide enterprise of public higher education in the country to transition to a unified accreditation for the system. Much different than a merger or consolidation, unified accreditation is a new operating model for the University of Maine System that removes the primary barrier to inter-institutional collaboration.
A comprehensive public institution of higher education, UMS serves more than 30,000 students annually and is supported by the efforts of more than 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty, more than 3,000 regular full-time and part-time staff, and a complement of part-time temporary (adjunct) faculty.
Reaching more than 500,000 people annually through educational and cultural offerings, the University of Maine System also benefits from more than two-thirds of its alumni population residing within the state; more than 123,000 individuals.
The System consists of six universities: The University of Maine (UMaine), including its regional campus the University of Maine at Machias (UMM); the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA); the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF); the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK), the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI); and the University of Southern Maine (USM). The System also includes the University of Maine School of Law and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.