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Grant to Stem Tide of Losing Female Faculty

An initiative to transform the University of Maine by enhancing opportunities for women has received an additional $284,093 from the National Science Foundation.

The supplemental funds will be used to develop a regional consortium to assist in the retention of female science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty by facilitating dual-career hiring –– providing opportunities for partners of UMaine faculty and staff members.

The new hiring consortium — Maine Career Connect — will help partners and professionals seeking employment in the region by connecting them with employers and resources, as well as supporting transitions.

“This funding will assist in recruiting and retaining dual-career couples at UMaine,” says Susan Gardner, director of the Rising Tide Center at UMaine.

“In our study of faculty who left UMaine, up to half of those who did so in a given year was due to a lack of employment for their professional spouses and partners.”

National studies have indicated 70 percent of academics, and 83 percent of female scientists, are in dual-career relationships.

UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center, which was formed after the initial portion of the five-year, $3.2 million grant was secured, strives to improve opportunities for female faculty members in social-behavioral sciences (SBS) and STEM to “create a rising tide for the entire university.”

The initiative has four goals: to increase the percentage of women teaching in STEM and SBS; to support effective policies and opportunities to recruit, retain and promote female faculty; to decrease isolation of women faculty by fostering a positive work environment, promoting work-life balance, pursuing diversity and partner relocation assistance, lowering barriers to success and improving connections within and outside of Maine; and to engage the University of Maine System and the faculty union with programs and policies.

UMaine’s ADVANCE Rising Tide Center personnel include Jeffrey Hecker, principal investigator and incoming executive vice president of academic affairs and provost. He takes over for Susan Hunter, former provost who Sept. 1 becomes vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Maine System; Gardner, associate professor of higher education; Amy Fried, professor of political science; Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology; and Karen Horton, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology.

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

UMaine President Joins National Sustainability Steering Committee

University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has been elected to serve a two-year term on the steering committee of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). His term begins July 1.

ACUPCC is a consortium of 677 colleges and universities committed to reducing carbon emissions and aggressively promoting energy efficiency. The 33-member steering committee is ACUPCC’s chief governing body, responsible for guidance, policy and direction.

The committee convened at the Annual ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, June 21-22 in Washington, D.C. The summit was designed to provide senior leadership at colleges and universities nationwide an opportunity to discuss how to achieve ACUPCC goals and promote sustainability on their campuses and throughout higher education. The ACUPCC also released its first five-year report at the summit

As ACUPCC signatory schools, the colleges and universities pledge to conduct annual inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions; implement immediate “tangible actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; develop a customized climate action plan to reach climate neutrality in operations; make sustainability a part of the educational experience for students; and to make periodic progress reports publicly available to facilitate and accelerate progress for fellow institutions and society.

In 2011, UMaine was one of three winners of ACUPCC’s Second Nature’s Leadership Award in the doctorate degree-granting university category. The award recognizes the university’s work, progress and commitment to creating a low-carbon future with UMaine constituents and the public.

UMaine has a campus wide commitment among faculty, staff, administrators and students to the mission of the university’s Sustainability Alliance. The alliance has been responsible for the UMaine climate action plan and the sustainability-focused campus master plan.

Other examples of UMaine’s climate leadership include the creation of several new graduate programs that provide opportunities for UMaine students to become environmental leaders; an infusion of $50 million from external sources to create solutions to Maine’s environmental problems through the Maine Sustainability Solutions Initiative; and research in climate change, offshore wind energy and forest biofuels.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, (207) 581-3745

Benefactors Tom and Sally Savage donate $500,000 to support Black Bear athletics

Tom (Class of 1968) and Sally Savage of Key Largo, Fla. have donated $500,000 to help fund University of Maine upgrades to athletics facilities at Alfond Arena and Memorial Gym.

“Once again, Tom and Sally have overwhelmed us with their extraordinary generosity,” says UMaine President Paul Ferguson. “This gift provides a tremendous boost to our efforts to upgrade these facilities, which are critically important to our student-athletes, our coaches and the thousands of fans who enjoy Black Bear sports.” (more…)

Ferguson quoted in Bangor Daily News about Fall Welcome Weekend

University of Maine President Paul Ferguson was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about the volunteers at UMaine’s Fall Welcome Weekend.


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UMaine News
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System