Maine Memo — R1 and student success

Dear members of the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities,

This is a proud time for all Black Bears. Wednesday was an important day in the history of the University of Maine and the state of Maine. UMaine was recognized nationally with an R1 Carnegie Classification as a “very high research activity” doctoral institution, one of just 146 universities nationally to be so recognized and the only one based in Maine.

This is a wonderful acknowledgment of the commitment and success over many years by our faculty, staff and students in expanding, deepening and solidifying our research and innovation enterprise. It comes as a result of steadfast support from our Congressional delegation, the Governor, the Maine Legislature, Chancellor Malloy and the Board of Trustees, and the donors and alumni who believe in our mission.

This past Monday in our virtual town hall meeting, we said that student success is the highest priority here at UMaine and our regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias. Today, I want to reinforce that fostering learner success — the first value in UMaine’s Strategic Vision and Values framework — and being an R1 institution are completely aligned.

Fostering learner success includes ensuring that students have access to the people and resources to help them succeed. From our first-year undergraduates involved in research learning experiences and graduate students making contributions to meet the needs of Maine and beyond, to our Early College students and K–12 learners statewide, all benefit from the expertise and achievements of world-class UMaine faculty. The UMaine student experience reflects the depth and breadth of Maine’s research university.

Through their research, innovation, creative achievement and outreach, UMaine faculty and staff across the academic disciplines are addressing the most significant and complex problems of our time, and are serving as leaders internationally in the quest to better understand humanity and improve the human condition. Being an R1 institution means that all of us commit to a standard of excellence, engaging students at all levels in the research enterprise, and ensuring that after their time at UMaine, they are ready to enter the workforce as innovators, problem-solvers and leaders of tomorrow.

Our Division of Marketing and Communications has added R1 templates, graphics and zoom backgrounds we can all use to share and celebrate our standing as a top-tier doctoral research university.

The designation of Maine’s land, sea and space grant university as an R1 institution is confirmation of the extraordinary work we have done and continue to do to ensure that this research university and its students define tomorrow.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy