Developing the Plan


The University of Maine System, with its seven distinct campuses, its more than 5,000 employees, its 28,040 students, and its $550 million overall budget, is a vital and vibrant asset to the state of Maine. As the heart of the state’s public system of higher education, the students, faculty, and staff at the System campuses are defining the future of Maine. Our institutions provide a broad suite of educational programs designed to prepare future generations of professionals, leaders, and innovators for our state and beyond. Here, we propose a framework for research and development for the System.

The University of Maine, the state’s only public research university, has a comprehensive portfolio that addresses the most challenging problems of our time (i.e., “grand challenges”) through basic and applied research, development, and commercialization, with direct impact in Maine. We emphasize the importance of basic, foundational research in this context, knowing that the applications of the new knowledge generated from those research programs will provide as yet unimagined benefits to our state and our society in the decades to come.

The University of Southern Maine (USM) provides research leadership in economic, social, environmental, health, and workforce development policies that advance the state’s economy. With its greater Portland location, USM advances workforce development and applied learning, and tackles the pressing community and state policy issues important to Maine people. The University of Maine at Augusta, the University of Maine at Farmington, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and the University of Maine’s regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias, all add vital and distinctive opportunities for geographic and place-based R&D specialization, where researchers and students, in partnership with their communities, strive to find solutions to important challenges statewide.

Process for Developing the UMS R&D Plan

Work commenced on the UMS R&D Plan shortly after the UMS Board of Trustees published its Declaration of Strategic Priorities document in December 2018. A steering committee was formed to serve in an advisory capacity, UMS presidents were provided regular updates, and engagement fora were set up for each UMS campus via video conferencing. Draft goals and milestones were communicated as part of the outreach meetings, and participants had the opportunity to comment directly, as well as submit written comments via an online survey tool and through email. The majority of outreach sessions occurred in spring 2019. A total of over 400 people were reached in the 19 sessions held. Such outreach and listening sessions will continue as part of the implementation process.

Outreach Events

UMaine Faculty Forum, Memorial Union (11/30/2018)
UMS Faculty Fellows AY18–19 Cohort, Wells Conference Center (1/25/2019)
UMaine Early Career Faculty, Memorial Union (1/25/2019)
UMS Board of Trustees and UMaine Board of Visitors, Wells Conference Center (1/27/2019)
UMaine Deans Council, President’s Conference Room, Alumni Hall (2/6/2019)
UMaine Council of Associate Deans, Alumni Hall (2/7/2019)
University Research Council, Stodder Hall (2/7/2019)
UMaine Board of Visitors, Portland, Maine (2/8/2019)
Cooperative Extension Leadership Team Zoom Meeting (2/20/2019)
UMaine and UMM Town Hall, Wells Conference Center and via Zoom (2/25/2019)
UMaine Graduate Board, Stodder Hall (2/28/2019)
University of Maine at Presque Isle Zoom meeting (3/4/2019)
University of Maine at Fort Kent Zoom meeting (3/4/2019)
University of Maine at Farmington Zoom meeting (3/7/2019)
UMaine Graduate Education Summit, Buchanan Alumni House (3/8/2019)
University of Southern Maine Zoom meeting (3/8/2019)
University of Maine at Machias Zoom meeting (3/8/2019)
University of Maine at Augusta Zoom meeting (3/15/2019)
Bioscience Association of Maine (BioME), University of Maine (3/20/2019)

Written input

University of Maine at Augusta, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
University of Southern Maine, Office of the President
UMaine Academic Deans
UMaine Cooperative Extension
UMaine School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and Climate Change Institute
University of Maine Board of Visitors
UMaine Faculty Senate Research and Scholarship Committee
University of Maine College of Education and Human Development
University of Southern Maine Department of Environmental Science and Policy
University of Maine at Farmington Division of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
University of Southern Maine Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation
University of Maine Coordinated Operating Research Entities (CORE)


2/25/2019 UMS President’s Council Meeting
2/28/2019 Consultation with Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Robert Neely
3/6/2019 Meetings with Maine’s Congressional Delegation
Various dates: Meetings with members of the Governor’s staff, Commissioners, and members of the Maine Legislature

Steering Committee Meetings

1/24/2019 Kickoff
2/7/2019 Task teams formed
2/22/2019 Task team report out and work session on goals
3/7/2019 Discussion of what added investment does for the state