UMS Bulletins

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2004
CONTACT: John Diamond 207-973-3224/Rita Sullivan 207- 973-3245

FACULTY SUMMIT, STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS AMONG DISCUSSION
AT UNIVERSITY SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

BANGOR – University of Maine System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal announced a two-day “faculty summit” to address the eight objectives and related issues that are contained in the proposed System strategic plan.

The announcement was made Monday in Bangor during the July meeting of the University System’s Board of Trustees.

The summit, which will be held in Orono on July 29-30, will include 28 faculty members representing all seven of Maine’s public universities. The faculty summit was initially proposed by two faculty representatives to the Board of Trustees: University of Southern Maine Professor Lucinda Cole and University of Maine Professor Dana Humphrey.

“Having just completed the three-month-long public comment period on the draft strategic plan, we feel we need additional faculty input on that plan,” said Westphal. “The results of the summit, along with the other feedback we have received since the draft plan was issued, will be a tremendous help to us as we revise the plan and begin preparation for the implementation phase.”

Board of Trustees Chair Charles L. Johnson III stated that trustees and the Chancellor have received much constructive comment and information during the public comment period, which has consisted of more than 100 hours of public forums, scores of correspondence, and other forms of feedback. Johnson said a summary of oral and written responses will be posted by July 16 on the UMS Strategic Planning website at http://www.maine.edu/spp.

Westphal said that he and the planning committee will spend the remainder of the summer revising the proposal and intend to have an updated plan ready to issue on September 7. The revised plan will be submitted to the full Board of Trustees for action at its September 20 meeting.

In other business at Monday’s Board meeting:

  • Westphal acknowledged and thanked University of Maine President Peter S. Hoff for his seven years of service, noting Hoff’s successes in overcoming enrollment, funding, and morale issues faced by UMaine when he arrived in 1997. Hoff, who submitted his resignation as president on July 9, has accepted a position as University System professor and will work as a teacher and scholar both at UMaine and within the University System. Four members of the UMaine faculty addressed trustees during Monday’s Board meeting to express their disappointment and displeasure with Hoff’s departure

  • Trustees approved Westphal’s appointment of Robert A. Kennedy as interim president of the University of Maine, effective August 15. Kennedy currently serves as UMaine’s executive vice president and provost.

  • The Board confirmed William A. Shields as acting president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Shields, who spent more than 36 years in higher education and most recently served as Interim President of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, will assume the post on August 1. He replaces Nancy H. Hensel, who recently accepted a position in Washington, D.C.

  • Westphal announced that the University System was recently awarded a $290,000 grant to support development of a statewide student financial aid strategy. The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation, which was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’ retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

  • Trustees approved construction of a new USM Child and Family Center in Gorham to replace its existing temporary facility on campus. The project, which will be operated by the not-for-profit People’s Regional Opportunities Project (PROP), will provide child care and Head Start program services to 50 children. Funding for the $1.5 million project will be provided through an initial $325,000 investment from PROP and from the existing child care facility’s operating budget.

  • The Board also approved the purchase of a privately owned home and land located at 125 Lincoln Street in Farmington, which will become the new home of the UMF Honors Program. The current Honors facility is scheduled for demolition to accommodate construction of a new 100-bed student residence hall.

Established in 1968, the University of Maine System is the state’s largest educational institution, with more than 34,000 students enrolled. It features seven universities – some with multiple campuses – located across the state, as well as 11 University College outreach centers and more than 100 interactive distance education sites.

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