University of Maine/University of Maine at Machias Regional Campus Task Force
In 2016, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees (BOT) first introduced the details of a new primary partnership between the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Machias (UMM). In the five years since that announcement there has been substantial work undertaken by committees and individuals on both campuses and at the University of Maine System level.
During the primary partnership’s inaugural year exploration task force groups were established in the areas of administrative integration, curriculum and program alignment, and structure and governance, and recommendations were reported in all three areas. Over these past five years the main recommendations on administrative integration have been implemented, some of the recommendations on curriculum and program alignment have been implemented, and progress toward structure and governance is still at relatively early stages. All of these activities have focused on developing an effective primary partnership.
As contexts shift, the need to realize and solidify the more specific component of the BOT policy – that UMM is a regional campus of the University of Maine – is becoming increasingly critical. Challenges in student enrollment are perhaps the most pressing. In the past decade, student credit hour production has declined by more than one third, with corresponding declines in faculty and staff numbers. Although CARES Act dollars have been and will be critical to UMM, the financial reserves are low and the BOT key performance indicator ratios are trending downward with expenses exceeding revenues. We must commit to stabilizing this situation and rebuilding UMM to be a thriving coastal campus.
The key assets and elements of identity of the University of Maine at Machias include the beautiful coastal location; the traditions of partnership to support the greater Machias community and to solve community problems; the unique expertise in such areas as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), community health, small business and nonprofit entrepreneurship, multigenerational access to higher education, specialty areas in K–12 education, outdoor recreation, marine biology and the partnership with the Downeast Institute; and more. The University of Maine at Machias will remain, according to Maine statute, as a campus of the University of Maine System. As a full regional campus of the University of Maine, it must be positioned to grow revenues, enrollments, and retention via strategic alignment of administration and programs through proactive and creative partnership at the program level with UMaine. There will be data-driven proposals for unique and distinct contributions for the Machias regional campus, and agreed-upon standards for quality and accountability.
The overall goal of UMM as a regional campus of the University of Maine is to serve students with affordable, high-quality educational opportunities in Down East Maine and Washington County as an entity of the University of Maine System.
The University of Maine/University of Maine at Machias Regional Campus Task Force will review progress in the following areas and create realistic, accelerated timelines and implementation steps for completion of the transition as a regional campus, with major elements to be fully planned or in place by fall 2021, and all elements completed by the end of July 2022. The task force will be collectively responsible for progress toward these deadlines, with the work done primarily within topically focused working groups. The task force will organize itself into working groups with identified leads or co-leads. The areas of work for the task force would include the following:
- tuition and financial aid
- academic program alignment and the single catalog project
- admissions and enrollment management
- UM/UMM faculty and staff interactions/opportunities
- stakeholder relations
- growth strategies for UMM
- academic professional development growth opportunities
- state and county economic possibilities
The initial deliverable will be a preliminary checklist, work plan, state of progress, and timeline encompassing these areas by May 1, 2021.
The task force chair will convene the task force biweekly to support progress and provide leadership to address challenges. As Special Assistant to the President for UM/UMM integration, the chair of the task force will have responsibility for making decisions, or determining how they can be made, as they come forward from the task force and its working groups. Additional individuals may be invited to confer or advise on specific topics in consultation with the task force chair.
An interim report from the task force is due to the president by May 20, 2021, with a full report to follow on September 1, 2021. The task force chair will confer regularly with the president to discuss challenges, needed resources and concerns.
Emily Haddad, Dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of English and Special Assistant to the President for UM/UMM Integration
Note: An additional faculty representative of UMM will be elected.
Heather Ball, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Special Education, UMM
Hannah Carter, Dean of Cooperative Extension, UMaine
Jason Charland, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of Research Development, UMaine
Timothy Cole, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor of Political Science, UMaine
George Criner, Associate Dean of Instruction, College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture, UMaine
Cara Cushing, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, UMM
Jason Harkins, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Management, Maine Business School, UMaine
Marnie Kaler, Dean of Students and Admissions, UMM
Renee Kelly, Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development, UMaine
Gayle Kraus, Professor of Marine Ecology, Division of Environmental and Biological Sciences, UMM
Monique LaRocque, Associate Provost for the Division of Lifelong Learning, UMaine
Chris Lindstrom, Vice President of Human Resources, UMaine
Jessica Miller, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development; Professor of Philosophy, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UMaine
Sid Mitchell, Associate Professor of Education, College of Education and Human Development, UMaine
Margaret Nagle, Senior Director of Public Relations, UMaine
Christopher Richards, Vice President for Enrollment Management, UMaine
Connie Smith, Director, Student Financial Aid, UMaine
Jacob van de Sande, Board of Visitors Chair, UMM
Joanne Yestramski, Interim Vice President and Chief Business Officer, UMaine