Call for Nominations and Applications: University of Maine Presidential Fellows

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues at the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias,

As I enter my second year as president, my excitement grows about the outstanding education, discovery, partnership work, and public service underway on our campuses. Collectively, we are making a difference — for our students, our state, the nation and beyond. I appreciate the great ideas and efforts of so many, not only in their specific areas of work, but also in helping shape what is next for our university. We need to consider what we need to do to ensure that the education and opportunities we provide truly have as much potential as possible to shape the future.

We have leaders here at the university — in Orono, Machias, and all of our other statewide locations — who are in formal roles as administrators, who may aspire to those sorts of positions, or who are leading through their day-to-day work in a more focused way. For faculty and staff, I am launching a University of Maine Presidential Fellows Leadership program, with the first Fellows to be identified this semester and to begin in January 2020. There will be up to three positions available at that time.  Each Fellow will have the lead role in advancing one or more of the following areas:

  1. Telling the UMaine Story: This extraordinary university is not receiving the kind of visibility and presence nationally and internationally that it deserves. The Fellow(s) working on this area will develop and be supported to implement creative plans for enhancing our visibility and reputation.
  2. Fostering Learner Success and Research Learning: I have announced a Presidential Theme for the 2019–20 year to engender university-wide attention to these important priorities. The Fellow(s) working on this will define the scope and elements of the initiative, and coordinate its implementation, including the efforts to ensure that every UMaine student has access to an authentic learning experience that integrates research, scholarship, or creative production.
  3. Research-practice Partnerships: Advancing our land, sea, and space grant mission depends on the quality of our partnerships across Maine and beyond. We have dozens of those partnerships in place, but we are not systematic in cataloging what we have, in providing any larger framework for encouraging and sustaining those partnerships, in evaluating their impact on practice, or in ensuring that they provide learning opportunities for students. The Fellow(s) working on this area will develop a plan and begin implementation for ensuring that UMaine is known for using research-practice partnerships as a fundamental part of our institution.

The Fellowship will provide resources for course release and/or part-time appointment in the President’s Office, at least 25% time, beginning in January 2020 for up to one year. Additional resources will be made available as possible and as needed for each of these priority areas. Fellows will meet regularly with me.

We will accept applications and nominations until November 18, 2019. Nominators are asked to use the online form to provide: the names of the nominees, their position/unit, and a short paragraph about which of these areas would be the best fit, and why the nominee would be ideal for this opportunity.

Applicants are asked to use the online form to address: why this opportunity is of interest to you, why you feel this is the right time in your career to be engaged in this way, which of these three areas interests you (can mention one or more), and any initial ideas you have about how to make progress on the topic. At this stage, we encourage you to let your supervisor/chair know you have expressed interest, but once the top candidates are identified, we will engage in more substantial conversations with supervisors/chairs.

Members of the UMaine Cabinet will assist me in evaluating nominations and applications. Candidates may be asked to provide additional information as part of the selection process, and implications for the staff or faculty member’s home department or unit will need to be considered.

Thank you for considering this. I look forward to hearing from you as we move ahead together on this important work.


President Joan Ferrini-Mundy