Board Directs Strategic Planning, Advances Adaptive Reuse Proposal of Historic UMaine Buildings

Trustees charge Chancellor Malloy with preparing a new strategic plan for the University of Maine System that coordinates collective actions of its universities and the University of Maine School of Law and leverages Unified Accreditation for sustainability and global impact

Public Private Partnership could generate more than $17 million in private investment in unused facilities and establish 87-beds of combined campus boutique hotel space in vacate Coburn and Holmes Halls on the University of Maine campus in Orono

Orono, Maine — The University of Maine System Board of Trustees charged Chancellor Malloy at its July meeting with conducting a Board-overseen comprehensive, System-wide strategic planning process.  The planning will coincide with the New England Commission of Higher Education’s Fall 2022 comprehensive evaluation of the System’s unified accreditation.  Maine’s public universities became the first statewide enterprise of higher education to unify their individual university accreditations into a System accreditation on July 1, 2020.  

The strategic planning will coordinate the collective actions of the System universities and the University of Maine School of Law.  It will be the first comprehensive planning process for the System since 2004.   

“Our universities have never had the types of collaborative opportunities that are now available to us under the unified accreditation achieved last year under Chancellor Malloy’s leadership,” said Mark Gardner, Chair of UMS Board of Trustees.  “Maine must have a globally competitive, fiscally sustainable enterprise of higher education to provide its students with the opportunities they deserve and meet the 21st Century workforce needs of employers.  The Board will be working closely with Chancellor Malloy, our university leaders, and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan that sets primary strategies and globally competitive and sustainable outcomes.”   

“Our faculty and scientists need to help determine Maine’s place in the world,” said Chancellor Malloy.  “Our inclusive planning for the next five years will prioritize students and their success and commit all of our resources and expertise to delivering the research and service it takes to move our state forward.”   

Please see Tab 5 of the July 26, 2021 Board Agenda Materials.  

$17 Million Public Private Partnership Proposal at UMaine Advances

The Board also advanced planning of a public private partnership that would result in the adaptive reuse of two historic buildings at the University of Maine. The projected $17 million in private investment in vacant, unused Coburn and Holmes Halls would bring 87-beds of campus boutique hotel space to the flagship campus of the University of Maine System.  Further Board approvals will be required.

The proposed redevelopment of the unused facilities would add to the hundreds-of-millions in campus construction underway and planned at the University of Maine, the state’s research university and home of the state’s only Division I athletics program.  Construction is now underway on the $80 million Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center and earlier this year UMaine unveiled its $110 million athletics Master Plan.  Many of the investments included in the $35 million in funding approved for the University of Maine System in Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan are slated for its flagship campus in Orono.  

“The University of Maine is a great investment,” said President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.  “We are bringing big changes to the flagship campus of the University of Maine System.  We thank the Board for its stewardship and are honored by the trust our students and their families, private and public partners, and our donors and grantors are placing in Maine’s research university.” 

Board approval authorizes continued due diligence through the University of Maine by the Radnor Property Group, LLC, to further the initiative and inform the Board approvals required to finalize the project.  Please see tab 9 of the July 26, 2021 Board Agenda Materials and the presentation that begins on page 175 of the posted version of the Board materials.  

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 seven main campuses: 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 a UMA campus in Bangor, USM campuses in Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn, the University of Maine School of Law, and the University of Maine Graduate and Professional Center.      

Please follow these links to the  UMS Logo, UMS and individual university style guides and an image and biographical information for Chancellor Malloy.