Maine Memo — March 26

For the past five years, a thoughtful and engaged dialogue has been occurring among faculty, staff, students, and administrators at the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias to discuss the meaning and enactment of UMM — Maine’s coastal university — as the regional campus of the University of Maine. And much has been accomplished toward administrative integration, alignment of curricula and programs, budget integration, and enrollment management.

As the next step in this process, I have appointed a University of Maine/University of Maine at Machias Regional Campus Task Force to review and recommend timelines and steps for completing the transition of UMM to a UMaine regional campus. Its charge is here.

The 20-member task force, chaired by Emily Haddad, dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and special assistant to the president for this transition, will submit an interim report to me by May 20, 2021, with a full report expected by September 1, 2021.

The goal is to have major elements fully planned or in place by fall 2021, and fully implemented by July 2022.

Areas of focus for the task force include tuition and financial aid; academic program alignment, including a single course catalog; admissions and enrollment management; organizational and structural alignment; stakeholder relations; UMM growth strategies; and UMM’s potential in county and state economic development.

Recent initiatives between the two universities range from collaboration to address campus infrastructure needs at UMM to a variety of cross-campus academic offerings. Among those is an online mental health and rehabilitation technician/community (MHRT/C) certificate recently made available to UMaine students, several 4+1 pathways to UMaine graduate programs for UMM students, and a referral program in which select UMaine applicants may begin their studies at UMM.

In 2016, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees introduced the details of the primary partnership between UMaine and UMM. In the intervening five years, substantial work has been undertaken by committees and individuals on both campuses and at the University of Maine System. Under Maine law, the University of Maine System is made up of seven universities, including UMM. For administrative purposes, UMM is a regional campus of the University of Maine. As a full regional campus of UMaine, it is important that it be positioned to grow enrollments, retention and revenues via strategic alignment of administration and programs. There will be data-driven proposals for unique and distinct contributions for the Machias regional campus, and agreed-upon standards for quality and accountability.

I am proud of what UMaine and UMM have been able to do together so far and optimistic about the future. The University of Maine at Machias is a vibrant, community-engaged resource for students, and for stakeholders in the Washington County area and statewide. I look forward to the task force recommendations to further the opportunities of this partnership for students, faculty and communities of both universities, and for Maine.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy