May 2019 update

Over the past several months, the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities and their stakeholders have come together in public forums, pop-up gatherings and formal meetings to advance our strategic vision and values work. Thank you to the more than 2,000 faculty, staff, students, Boards of Visitors members, alumni and community partners who have attended various sessions in person or remotely, and engaged in the dialogue. Thanks also to those of you who contributed to the more formal statements we received from units across campus. Engagement at this level is critical to the development of a strategic vision and plan that will serve the university and the state.

As noted in our March update, the focus over the last three months has been on developing the broad goals that will serve as guides for strategic decision-making over the next several years and identifying the strategies we will utilize to pursue these goals. In addition, we have collected ideas about what should be the key indicators that will allow us to measure progress over time. In addition to the three open forums held in March and April, input from staff, faculty, and students was gathered through pop-up sessions, and in face-to-face surveys held at the Memorial Union and the Student Symposium, as well as through the feedback form on this website. Additionally, deans and vice presidents have worked with their units and developed reports based on their findings.

The university’s strategic plan will integrate the information gathered through the strategic vision and values processes with the University of Maine System’s Research and Development Plan developed under President Ferrini-Mundy’s leadership, the First Year Student Success Initiative, and other organized efforts to consider the university’s future such as the recent Graduate Education Summit.

The next step is to integrate all of this information and to extract the broader themes that encompass the sub-goals that have been identified. We will look at strategies and extract categories that emerge as themes. Much of this work will be done by a core working group that has been meeting throughout the year. We will be sharing drafts of their work with the university community and seeking your input and feedback over the coming months.

On May 3rd, the working group will be meeting for a full day to process the wealth of information and create an initial draft of strategic goals, strategies and indicators. On May 6th, this draft will be shared with President Ferrini-Mundy to get her feedback and approval to move forward. On May 15th, the president and I will be meeting with the UMS Board of Trustees Academic and Student Affairs Committee to share first drafts and get their feedback. We will take this feedback, make revisions, and by share this work with the university community no later than May 20, inviting further feedback and input. On May 31st, the Strategic Vision and Values Steering Committee will take all of the feedback and begin to flesh out the implementation plan. In June, we will be meeting regularly to develop plans for implementation. We will share drafts of this work as it progresses with the university community.

I encourage you to review the materials we have collected to date and to share your ideas and reactions. For all things related to the strategic planning process, please visit the Strategic Vision and Values website.

Again, I greatly appreciate the thoughtful engagement of our communities in the process thus far and I look forward to working with you to develop our roadmap to the future.

Jeffrey Hecker
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost