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First Year Progress Report - First Year Priorities

First Year Priorities

The Strategic Plan Implementation Action Committee (SPIAC) was charged at the start of the Fall Semester, 2006, to identify and list an initial set of implementation action items to operationalize UMaine’s new 2006-2011 Strategic Plan. The committee members were appointed by Provost Szymanski, in part from nominees provided by the Faculty Senate, and was chaired by the Provost. Responsibility for daily leadership was tasked to the Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies, Dan Sandweiss, who had been co-chair of the Strategic Plan Committee.

SPIAC members included:

  • Barker, Sharon:  Director, Women’s Research Center

  • Jenson, Cary:  Associate Professor of Social Work

  • Livingston, William:  Associate Professor of Forest Resources

  • Peterson, Mick:  Professor of Mechanical Engineering

  • Rumery, Joyce:  Dean of Libraries

  • Scott, Julie-Ann: President, Graduate Student Government, PhD student

  • Marrs, Stuart: Professor of Music

  • Pooler, Anne: Associate Dean, Education

  • Trainor, Mike:  Board of Visitors member: Academic Affairs

  • Slavin, Charlie:  Dean, Honors College

Throughout Fall 2006, the Committee worked to create and revise appropriate implementation action items based on top priorities, urgent needs, and feasibility. In early January, 2007, the President’s Executive Staff reviewed the draft document. After incorporating their suggestions, the document was sent to the Faculty Senate for discussion and then presented at an open Town Meeting. The following final version was produced on February 6, 2007 and transmitted to the Provost and President.

Goals/Actions Relates to SP Goal #
Become a Top 50 Public University and a top 100 Research University

  • Improve 6 year graduation rate.
  • Improve first year retention rate.
  • Increase the number of doctoral students and postdoctoral research associates at UMaine.

1, 4, 5, 6, 7

Strengthen partnerships with community and state

  • Provide education, technical assistance, and support to new and existing businesses through the Student Innovation Center, the Target Technology Center, and the various programs of the Cooperative Extension.
  • Provide expert assistance to those involved in state governments.
  • Strengthen the partnership between the University of Maine and K – 12 education in the state.


Increase success in recruitment and retention of highly qualified and diverse undergraduate students

  • Promote Living/Learning Communities for academically engaged entering and continuing students.
  • Attract more top Maine students to apply to and enroll at UMaine.
  • Evaluate and improve various aspects of the first year experience.

1, 2, 3, 8

Expand and improve graduate education:

  • Raise graduate enrollment to 3,000 within 5 years.

1, 3, 4, 5

Advance undergraduate research:

  • Assign functions of an undergraduate research office (U-GRO) to existing unit.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Increase number and visibility of signature interdisciplinary programs (IDPs):

  • Form an intercollege commission to encourage, develop, and promote new, signature IDPs that build on the existing strengths of UM to address new ideas and opportunities to serve the State and the nation, following earlier work of Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies.

1, 4, 5

Establish learning outcome measures across all academic programs and develop systematic processes to use results to enhance teaching effectiveness:

  • Establish a commission with representatives from UTC, Faculty Senate, college deans, and department chairs to develop learning outcome measures.


Increase international research and education:

  • Establish more collaborative research and educational exchange agreements with international institutions in countries where UM has or needs research and/or teaching strength.

1, 4

Promote high-quality staff performance:

  • In collaboration with appropriate unions and HR, enhance opportunities for professional development of employees.

1, 8

Increase intra-institutional communication, transparency, and accountability:

  • Update university annually on progress of strategic plan.

2, 8

Broaden community support for University and its Comprehensive Campaign:

  • Enhance Service Learning and Voluntarism to increase community service and internships by UM students, staff, and faculty.

1, 6, 7

Enhance UM’s flagship role within the UMS and within the Maine higher education community:

  • Deliver doctoral education to Maine community college, UMS, and other Maine college faculty lacking doctoral degrees.

1, 3, 4, 6, 7

Please note: The Strategic Plan Implementation Action Plan also recommends pursuing to the extent possible the goals and actions outlined in the specific Strategic Plans: the Strategic Implementation Plan for Enhancement of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, the Task Force Report on Graduate Research, Education and Scholarship at the University of Maine: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st Century, the Fogler Library Strategic Plan, and the DISTANCE EDUCATION/OUTREACH CENTERS Strategic Planning Committee Report.

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