Between its individual visits to all of our university and Law School, and its primary slate of meetings held on the University of Maine campus, the ten-member evaluation team representing our regional accreditor, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), met with 70 groups of faculty, students, staff, administrators, Boards of Visitors members, and Board of Trustees members during their time in Maine (September 30 – October 5). We estimate that 500-600 members of the University of Maine System (UMS) community interacted with the team in some capacity, and we are gratified by that impressive degree of engagement in the evaluation process.
The evaluation team will share a draft of its written report with the UMS leadership in November, and its final report will subsequently be shared with UMS and with NECHE. In Spring 2023, Chancellor Malloy and the evaluation team chair, President Ross Gittell of Bryant University, will attend a regular meeting of the NECHE Commission in Massachusetts to discuss the UMS self study (prepared earlier this year in support of the evaluation), the team’s written report, and UMS’s response to that report, along with questions and observations from Commission members. Thereafter, Chancellor Malloy and UMS Board of Trustees Chair Trish Riley will receive a letter from the Commission detailing its assessment of the overall evaluation and providing guidance to UMS about future direction.
In the interim, we will begin systematically setting and tracking goals in areas where the evaluation team has recommended changes or improvements. The tracking will be led by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Accreditation and Strategic Initiatives in close collaboration with the presidents, vice chancellors, provosts, and university and Law School accreditation officers.