Community Message: September 3
Welcome and welcome back to all who are part of the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities. Welcome to those joining us for the first time and to those who are returning for their second — or fifty-second — year. Welcome to whichever of UMaine’s 333 buildings across the state is your home base, and welcome, too, to all who participate in our community virtually and online.
This summer offered me special opportunities to see even more of our university in action statewide and the people of Maine who have a connection to it. My travels have taken me from Presque Isle High School to the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, to the Downeast Institute in Beals, to the Maine Center for Graduate and Professional Studies in Portland, to Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, to the Blueberry Cove 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Tenants Harbor, and beyond. And I talked with lots of people — students, faculty, staff, researchers, alumni, generous supporters, Maine legislators, members of Congress, athletes and artists. Those new to UMaine and those who are not share a love of the state of Maine and all of its beauty and resources, pride in the university and what it has meant to them and their families, and excitement about the future.
Underlying that love of Maine, the Black Bear and Clipper loyalty, and the pride in their university are core strategic values. They align with those that emerged in our community-wide strategic vision and values process over the 2018–19 academic year under the able leadership of Provost Jeff Hecker. The first of those values is fostering learner success. Fostering Learner Success: Teaching for Impact and Learning for Innovation will be a major theme for our university — in all 333 UMaine facilities and in cyberspace — for the 2019–20 academic year. We want everyone to be a part of this focus, to express your ideas to share successes, to bring to the forefront the outstanding teaching and learning experiences we offer at the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias, and to enact what is successful at greater scale, in much more inclusive ways, and with innovation and a view toward the future.
This year, too, we are working on new and stronger communications processes (check out my Instagram — @presferrinimundy) in addition to our many institutional news and information sites, led by umaine.edu/news and machias.edu/news. Watch for periodic President’s updates, town hall meetings and President’s office hours.
Best wishes to all for a great start to the fall semester, and for a full experience of all of the energy, excitement and anticipation that comes to a university always at this time each year.
President Joan Ferrini-Mundy