Strategic re-envisioning our campuses — May 6

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

As we approach our 160th anniversary, the University of Maine stands at a pivotal juncture. Our mission as the state’s flagship and land grant university places us in a unique position to lead transformational change in higher education to impact Maine and beyond.

The challenges facing higher education are unprecedented—from demographic shifts and economic pressures to a changing global landscape. Opportunities abound as well, from rapid technological advances to the interconnectedness of society. These challenges and opportunities demand a bold rethinking of our role and structure, which is why we are announcing the launch of a university-wide strategic re-envisioning process to set the course for a dynamic and sustainable future for the University of Maine. 

Over the next nine months, this institution-wide effort will result in the development of recommendations for a re-envisioned university. This effort will ensure we reach and maintain a balanced budget, are well-positioned for a competitive enrollment environment, and are prepared to meet upcoming challenges and opportunities. 

As part of this initiative, we will:

  • Re-assess and optimize our academic, research, community-serving, and organizational structures to ensure relevance and anticipate societal needs.
  • Create innovative, interdisciplinary environments fostering learner success by integrating our academic, research, and community engagement endeavors. 
  • Enhance our commitment to inclusivity and provide enriching experiences across all modalities of interaction.
  • Develop new models for governance and administration with consideration toward our commitments to efficiency, transparency, and participatory decision-making.

This process will unfold in three phases, which will begin in May and last until February 2025. University leadership will gather input through workshops, stakeholder meetings, and review of prior strategic plans, resulting in a synthesized report of our discussions and potential scenarios for the future. We will then refine our ideas and align them with practical steps and budget considerations for fiscal year 2026 implementation. Lastly, we will focus on detailed planning and broad community engagement to implement the initiatives that will commence in fiscal year 2026.

Throughout this process, we will maintain a high level of transparency and communication, ensuring that every voice is heard and our collective vision for the University of Maine is both ambitious and achievable.

We anticipate identifying a small group of presidential fellows from our faculty and staff to work on this project intensively over the summer. If you are interested, please fill out this form.

Updates will be made available here as the initiative progresses.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy