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First Year Progress Report - First Annual Implementation Progress Report

First Annual Implementation Progress Report

Progress on Objective 1

Become a Top 50 Public University and a top 100 Research University
Strategic Plan Goals 1,4,5,6,7

Improving the six-year graduation rate
(See Tables OIS.1-OIS.10.)

-The UMaine six-year graduation rates show general improvement with time (Table OIS.1), to the latest figure of 59% for the Fall 2001 cohort. (The figure of 60% for the Fall 1997 cohort was somewhat of an anomaly, having jumped from the Fall 1996 cohort’s figure of 54%. The Fall 1997 cohort was smaller, and much higher in mean SAT, than other cohorts.)

-The trend in six-year graduation rates is generally positive for the College of Business, Public Policy and Health (BPPH), the College of Education and Human Development (EHD) and the College of Engineering (Tables OIS.2, OIS.3, OIS.4), although somewhat uneven for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture (NSFA) (Tables OIS.5 and OIS.6).

-Although the Explorations Program‘s six-year graduation rates (Table OIS.7) are lower than those for the five colleges, the more significant observation is the large difference between “directs” and “redirects” (Tables OIS.8 and OIS.9). The most recent six-year graduation rates have been in the mid-50s for “directs,” in contrast to the mid-30s for “redirects.”

-Six-year graduation rates are somewhat higher for females than for males (Table OIS.10; this table shows a similar difference for four-year graduation rates).

Additional info from college reports

-The College of Engineering is working on its admissions process as a first step to improving the graduation rate.

Improving the first year retention rate
(See Tables OIS.1- OIS.9.)

-Retention rates are rather stable for the institution as a whole: generally 78% to 80% (Table OIS.1).

-BPPH Retention rates are somewhat uneven and a bit lower (Table OIS.2); and EHD, Engineering, and NSFA are generally higher (Tables OIS.3, OIS.4, and OIS.6).

-Explorations retention rates are uneven (Table OIS.7), although these rates have been consistently in the low 70s for the last three cohorts—lower than for the institution as a whole. Retention rates are always lower for “redirects” than for “directs” (Tables OIS.8 and OIS.9).

Additional info from college reports

-In the College of Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering achieved its highest first-year retention in five years. The college average is also at its highest level.

-Honors College students continue to be retained at a higher rate than the overall population, even after controlling for standardized test scores and high school performance.

Increasing the number of doctoral students and postdoctoral research associates at UMaine
(See Tables OIS.11 – OIS.17.)

Enrolled Doctoral Students

-The number of enrolled UMaine doctoral students has consistently increased from 380 in Fall 2003 to 467 in Fall 2007 (Table OIS.11). This represents a 23% increase in enrolled doctoral students institution-wide.

-Across years, males and females alike are well represented in the UMaine doctoral population, although the increase is markedly more consistent for males (Table OIS.11).

-The four doctorate-producing colleges—EDH, Engineering, LAS, and NSFA—each show a generally consistent increase in enrolled doctoral students over these five years (Table OIS.11).

-EDH shows markedly more female doctoral students over these five years (Table OIS.11).

-Engineering shows markedly more male doctoral students over these five years (Table OIS.11). However, this difference is lessening: In Fall 2007, there are almost twice as many female doctoral students in Engineering (16) than there were in Fall 2003 (9). (Table OIS.14 shows how each department in Engineering contributes to this trend.)

-LAS and NSFA show a generally balanced representation of males and females across years at the college level (Table OIS.11). As one would expect, there is considerable variability in this regard among departments within each of these two colleges (Tables OIS.15 and OIS.16).

Post-Doctoral Research Associates

-The number of post-docs was rather stable from Fall 2003 to Fall 2007 (16-18 post-docs), although Fall 2006 was somewhat higher (22). Post-docs reside largely in Engineering, LAS, and NSFA (Table OIS.17).

Additional info from college reports

- The College of Education and Human Development is proposing the development of two new PhD programs as well as transitioning, where appropriate, from an EdD degree to a PhD degree. These programs and changes should increase the quantity and quality of doctoral students in the College.

Systematically addressing recruitment and retention of highly qualified and diverse faculty.

-The Office of Equal Opportunity has granted several faculty search waivers based on UMaine’s partner accommodation policy. Most of the positions were tenure eligible and while others were for lecturers. These opportunity hires will enhance the University of Maine and bring diversity to the curriculum and to the campus.

-The Office of Equal Opportunity hired a research associate to conduct a study focused on the retention of female faculty at the University of Maine. It is expected that the report will be completed this year.

Other achievements toward top 50 status

-There has been an increase of 24% in National Science Foundation-calculated research expenditures for 2006 (latest data available). The total amount is $93.2M, which begins to approximate that of the 100th position in publicly funded research institutions. Areas of strength are engineering (particularly composites and advanced materials), environmental sciences (oceanography), and life sciences (agriculture).

-Fogler Library worked on a contract to acquire to ScienceDirect during the summer of 2007, with access to the full-text online journals beginning Fall 2007. This was made possible thanks to annual funding from the University of Maine System, the University of Maine, and the University of Southern Maine. The ScienceDirect license will provide access to faculty, staff and students at all campuses through the end of 2011.

-The Maine Business School was ranked for the first time in 2006 by US News and World Report at the 150th spot.

Higher academic standards for nursing, leading to improved success rate on the Nursing Licensing Exam (NCLEX): the pass rate in December was over 90%, and with half of the May graduating class confirmed, the pass rate so far is 100%. It is expected that they will attain their 95% pass rate goal. The national pass rate is 84%.

-The School of Policy and International Affairs held two high profile, international conferences—one in cooperation with the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington D.C. and the other with the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies Research (ECSSR). There are two edited books forthcoming from these conferences. SPIA has an agreement with both NDU and ECSSR to engage in an additional conference with each of them as a partner, and the Naval Post Graduate School as a result of these meetings wishes to co-sponsor a conference with UMaine.

-The College of Education and Human Development has instituted higher admissions standards for undergraduates, resulting in a stronger applicant pool and greater interest in UMaine among the best students in high schools. The athletic training curriculum- based program is attracting very strong students who want to study at UMaine because of the new Wes Jordan Complex and our Division I athletics programs. The college continues to bring nationally known scholars to campus as Shibles Visiting Professors.

-Honors College students won the following national competitions:

Two Goldwater Scholarships (one in NSFS and one double major in CLAS and NSFA), one Udall Scholarship (double major in CLAS and NSFA), and one Fulbright Fellowship (CLAS).

-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences CLAS graduate students were awarded postdoctoral positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oxford University.

-A 2007 graduate of the College of Engineering and former President of the Student Government has been elected as the sole winner of the 2007 Alton T. Zerby and Carl T. Koerner Outstanding Electrical or Computer Engineering Student Award, given to the top electrical or computer engineering student in the U.S.

-A researcher in the School of Forest Resources received two prestigious awards: The Gottschalk Award given by the Forest Products Society in recognition of those who serve the society with distinction and dedication, and the Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

-A Libra Professor in Earth Sciences and the Climate Change Institute received the first-ever Medal of Excellence in Antarctic Research. This honor was bestowed by a committee of his peers gathered from more than 40 nations.

-A Food Science and Nutrition faculty member was named a Senior Fulbright Specialist for 2007-2012, as was a faculty member in Modern Languages and Classics.

-The chair-elect of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents is a researcher in the School of Marine Sciences. This organization represents 60 scientific federations and more than 1.4 million scientists with the goal of supporting science education and fostering wise science policy.

-A faculty member in the School of Economics received the Steven M. Teutsch Prevention Effectiveness Program Appreciation Award, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-The graduate programs in Plant Soil and Environmental Science were ranked 5th nationally based on faculty scholarly activity. Academic Analytics placed our graduate programs in agronomy and crop science in the top tier with giants such as Cornell, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and the University of California Davis.

-In the fall of 2006, the Dept. of Earth Sciences was honored by the National Science Foundation as one of the top 100 geosciences departments in the United States.

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