President’s Message to the Community: April 12

This is the time of year when we as a university community recognize and celebrate the outstanding talent that contributes to UMaine’s overarching leadership and excellence. I want to begin by congratulating the 15 faculty members who received tenure and/or promotion. Their dedication in the classroom and in their disciplines is part of UMaine’s distinction. We thank them for their contributions to the quality UMaine student experience, and for the difference they make in Maine and beyond.

We will soon be gathering as colleges, departments and schools to honor our outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, and to pay tribute to their faculty educators, mentors, collaborators and role models. They include the 11 named Outstanding Graduating and Outstanding Graduating International Students, whose achievements and aspirations make us particularly proud. Congratulations also go to our 2017 Valedictorian Allyson Eslin from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture; and Salutatorian Joshua Patnaude from the College of Engineering. Your stories of academic and personal success are an inspiration to all of us.

The Professional Employees Advisory Council and the Classified Employees Advisory Council have named their Outstanding Employee Award winners — Jennifer Bonnet and Karen Moffett. And this year’s Steve Gould Award recipient is Melissa Ladenheim. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating their achievements at the Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony April 25. At that annual event, we’ll also honor more than 50 employees for their 25, 35 and 45 years of service to UMaine. Five of those employees have been members of our community for 45 years.

This month, we welcome to our community the newly named leadership team for the University of Maine at Machias. Under the new partnership between UMaine and UMM, Dr. Kay Kimball will serve as UMM executive dean/chief academic and operations officer, and Dr. Dan Qualls will serve as UMM director of academic support services and community outreach. I look forward to working closely with them to ensure the stability and success of the Machias campus and its mission in Down East Maine.

In this partnership that makes UMM a regional campus of UMaine on July 1, our goal is to do what’s best for students and for the state of Maine. In the past months, we have conducted multiple campus visits in Machias, meeting with UMM Interim President Sue Huseman and her leadership team, faculty, staff, BOV and community members. We are focused on enrollment strategies and maintenance of UMM’s campus identity, achieving efficiencies, and realizing and exploring opportunities for both institutions. That dialogue will continue at UMM, and we encourage UMaine community members to contribute any ideas for helping the partnership succeed. Thank you very much to those on our campus who have contributed their expertise, energy and enthusiasm to the integration of the two campuses. It has been especially appreciated in Machias.

I look forward to seeing you at any number of the many terrific UMaine events scheduled this month and into May. In Bangor, we will come together April 24 for the showcase of research and creative activity by undergraduate and graduate students during the daylong Student Symposium. This year’s symposium has twice the number of participants as last year.

We also will come together for Maine Day May 3, and get ready for our 215th Commencement 10 days later.

And through it all, I hope you enjoy the spring weather that has finally come to Maine.