From the President
Welcome to the Blue Sky Plan Implementation Website
After eight months of an intensive UMaine community-based strategic planning initiative, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved The Blue Sky Project: Reaffirming Public Higher Education at Maine’s Flagship University on July 9, 2012 and the Blue Sky Implementation Plan officially began. The Blue Sky Implementation Plan is centered around the Five Blue Sky Pathways summarized as the “Five M’s” to transform UMaine in the next five years:
- Pathway 1. Maine’s Renewal – Ensure that UMaine teaching, research, outreach, workforce and economic development program excellence are in close alignment with Maine’s priority needs. Initiatives include increasing campus/private sector partnerships by 50 percent in the next five years, and aligning technology and educational programs with Maine’s economic infrastructure needs.
- Pathway 2. Money and Management – Optimize operating efficiencies and control expenditures within a financially sustainable business model, and seek new and entrepreneurial revenue sources. Initiatives include new advancement and research initiatives as well as a new enrollment management unit with a plan to potentially increase enrollment to 15,000 (from 11,168 in 2012), increasing the number of out-of-state and international students, and increasing academic partnerships with Maine’s sister universities and community colleges.
- Pathway 3. Morale and Marketing – Invest in faculty and staff professional development, refresh the UMaine brand and improve communication among all constituencies. Initiatives include establishing consistent and high-quality brand standards to better promote UMaine, harnessing the goodwill of alumni for student internships and career networking, and promoting UMaine’s role in athletics as the state’s only NCAA Division I school.
- Pathway 4. Mentoring and Modeling – Promote undergraduate and graduate opportunities for student success, including value-added residential life, research fellowships, internships, and more effective advising and learning environments. Initiatives include developing new models for learning to better prepare graduates for meaningful jobs and lives, establishing an outcomes-based assessment of all academic programs, and increasing the number of externally funded opportunities for student research.
- Pathway 5. Master Plan and Maintenance – Restore and create UMaine’s physical plant and technology infrastructure to ensure a vibrant place of learning and discovery. Initiatives include a Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) approach to managing UMaine’s $1 billion in infrastructure and real estate, fully funding appropriate levels of campus upkeep and beautification, and continuing to implement campus sustainability initiatives.
Modeled after the highly successful Blue Sky strategic planning process, the Blue Sky Implementation Plan is inclusive and community- based with an Implementation Team for each of the Five Pathways under the umbrella of the Blue Sky Plan Implementation Steering Committee chaired by President Ferguson.
Our goal is to structure implementation teams around each of the 5 Pathways. Each Pathway Implementation Team will consist of approximately 10 individuals recommended for their particular expertise/experience related to the focus of the Pathway Initiatives and their demonstrated leadership on campus. Additionally, we will ensure that the Implementation Teams have a diverse representation from our UMaine constituencies.
The Pathway Implementation Teams will provide the primary focus on setting goals, timelines, metrics and ensuring accountability for achieving our Blue Sky Initiatives. The Implementation Teams meet at least one time each month in person, participate in ongoing email communications, as well as directly communicating with the UMaine Community to seek input and report progress. The Kick-Off Meeting of the Blue Sky Implementation Teams was held on September 25, 2012 at the Buchanan Alumni House (See Video).
This Website will be the official site for ongoing communications with UMaine constituencies including announcements and progress reports.
We invite you to be a part of the Blue Sky Implementation Process!
With best regards,
Paul W. Ferguson
Image Description: President Paul Ferguson