Strategic Re-Envisioning Initiative Update — May 14

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

As promised, we plan to provide periodic updates on the activities underway in the Strategic Re-Envisioning (SRE) initiative.

On May 9 and 10, a group of approximately 60 faculty, staff, and administrators came together to provide input concerning the process and expectations for the SRE initiative. The SRE assumes wide involvement in our effort to envision UMaine’s future and find actions and approaches as we develop the fiscal year 2026 budget. This initiative will help determine areas for lasting strategic savings or reliable revenue streams. 

We will share a synthesis of the May 9 and 10 event soon. We are including a short summary here as to preview a more extensive synthesis:

  • The retreat began by establishing the context we face from our perspective so we could better frame the conversation. This helped to align us with a common understanding of our current budget situation and what we hope this SRE initiative will achieve.
  • We spent time establishing “goodness criteria” for our solutions. That is, as we determine actions going forward, what is our backdrop for determining the “goodness” of our actions? 
  • We also worked to offer specific actions we might take within a set of categories that span the work of the university. Groups then began to lay out drivers and barriers to achieving those actions.

A subset of those at the retreat will convene this week to discuss possible next steps, which may include:

  • Identifying a Project Director.
  • Identifying Provost Fellows.
  • Summarizing the retreat.
  • Planning a May 21 town hall to engage a broader audience in generating ideas about goodness criteria and actions.
  • Establishing a SRE Task Force to work with the Project Director on a day-to-day basis over the coming months. 
  • Assigning key categories and possible actions generated within them to existing groups or combinations: Budget Committee, Space Committee, Senate/Senate committees, Provost’s Advisory Council on Equity, President’s DEI Council, Academic Deans, Center and Institute Directors, UMaine Research Council, Graduate Council, UMaine Foundation Board, etc.  
  • Generating requests for data and analysis and outlining details of action plans.
  • Introducing discussion to the Board of Visitors in June meeting.
  • Developing a detailed communications plan and timeline.

Please note that we will be searching for applicants for the position of SRE Project Director and for Provost Fellows for the summer. More details will be forthcoming, we hope that you’ll consider applying. 

For those individuals interested in getting involved at the committee level, the form has been fixed and names can be submitted here.

We look forward to seeing you at the town hall on May 21.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

John Volin
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost