Thank you all for your incredible commitment, resiliency, and innovation at this extraordinarily challenging moment for the students, faculty and staff at the University of Maine and our regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias. This is also a challenging time for our stakeholders and the communities we serve.
At this time of year, we always are engaged in university budget planning at three levels. Our focus is to conclude the current fiscal year, to finalize plans for the upcoming fiscal year, and to envision the fiscal year after that. The unprecedented circumstances that we are experiencing now because of the pandemic, and the consequences that we will face going forward, must be central in all of this budget planning.
We are facing significant fiscal challenges. We also must envision the future of the university in the post-COVID-19 world, and begin to design changes and innovations now that ensure we serve our current and future students, stakeholders, and partners well, anticipate the kinds of programs and offerings that will interest them, and continue and grow our commitment to serving the state of Maine through research and development.
The attached document, “Define Tomorrow to Set Our Course,” describes an initiative in which I invite you and the groups that you lead, including external stakeholders and partners, to engage in a process of providing advice and making suggestions. This “request for ideas” is a community-wide brainstorming activity. It seeks your ideas about where we could grow, where we could reorganize, how we might generate additional revenues, how we might reduce costs through new approaches or disinvestment, and what priorities we should consider pursuing in the post-pandemic world.
The timeline for this process is compressed. We ask for submission of the first round of ideas no later than May 15, although this will be a rolling process and we will review ideas as they come in.
Thank you for engaging your teams and groups in this process. What you provide will be an essential part of the development of our budget plans going forward.