President Ferrini-Mundy talks with PPH about Roux Institute

Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias, was quoted in a Portland Press Herald story about Northeastern University’s plan to create a graduate school and research center in Portland that offers certificate programs, master’s degrees and doctorates in machine learning and artificial intelligence, with an emphasis on life sciences such as biology and genetics. “One thing that we think is really interesting is that business partners will get to shape the design of what students will learn,” she said. In that sense, said Ferrini-Mundy, the institute will target the needs of the workforce, providing another reason for them to stay in Maine. The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Maine Public also reported on what will be called the Roux Institute. David Roux, who grew up in Lewiston and graduated from Harvard University before becoming a Silicon Valley investor, is giving $100 million to NU to establish the graduate school and research center. In the New York Times, he described the project as “an opportunity machine disguised as an educational institution and research center.” It will have succeeded, Roux said, if it makes existing local companies better, attracts companies from elsewhere and provides the seed corn for dynamic new businesses. The Sun Journal carried the Portland Press Herald story. Inside Higher Ed’s story included statements from Ferrini-Mundy and University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Pathways programs for UMaine students and faculty fellowships for UMaine and Northeastern faculty are being considered as the first steps in partnering,” said Ferrini-Mundy. Malloy said the Roux Institute brings a new vision, critical investment and proven research capacity to the Portland region. “It can be a game-changer for Maine’s participation in the innovation economy and create new opportunities for Maine’s students and entrepreneurs,” he said. Connect Boston also reported Northeastern University and technology entrepreneur Roux will launch a graduate education and research campus in the spring.