FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 15, 2004
CONTACT:  John Diamond 207-973-3224 or Rita Sullivan 207-973-3245

 

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SYSTEM TRUSTEES APPROVE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN FOR USM

Board Also Approves Expansion of Lewiston-Auburn College Campus

 

LEWISTON – The University of Maine SystemÕs board of trustees on Monday gave permission to the University of Southern Maine to proceed with a two-year, $25 million fundraising campaign. The Board also approved the purchase and renovation of a building in Lewiston adjacent to USMÕs Lewiston-Auburn College campus.

Meeting in Lewiston on Sunday and Monday, the trustees heard USM president Richard L. Pattenaude outline the $25 million fundraising campaign, which he said would be the largest in the schoolÕs history.  Funds would come from both private and public sources, with approximately $7 million already pledged or received.  The funds will be used to complete existing fundraising projects such as construction of a new home for USMÕs Muskie School of Public Service, its School of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology, and the Abromson Community Education Center.

Other elements of the USM capital campaign include creating a ŌUniversity CommonsĶ on the Portland campus. The project includes a new facility to house the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and other campus improvements.  Additional funds would support USMÕs endowment and annual fund.

ŌThis capital campaign will help ensure that the university has the physical capacity to increase access to high quality education,Ķ Pattenaude explained. ŌIt will establish the Portland campus as USMÕs ÔhubÕ of its multi-campus university.Ķ

USM also benefits from trusteesÕ approval of a $2 million project to purchase and renovate a 40-year-old industrial building located next to USMÕs Lewiston-Auburn College.  Funding for expansion to LAC was provided through a voter-approved bond proposal in 2003.  LAC currently enrolls over 1,600 part-time and full-time students, including approximately 400 students enrolled in courses offered by the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA).

 ŌThe expansion of LAC reflects both the demand for university opportunities in this area as well as the regionÕs importance to MaineÕs economy,Ķ stated Charles L. Johnson III, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Trustees also approved establishment of a bachelor of applied science degree for UMA.  As described by UMA president Charles Lyons, the new degree will provide graduates of a two-year technical college program - associate of applied science, or A.A.S. – to receive credit for two years of study toward a four-year bachelorÕs degree in a related field.  Though more than 100 of these so-called articulation agreements exist between the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System, none addresses the specific needs and interests of students whose two-year degree has focused on technical education. The new program will provide the liberal arts base and general education requirements necessary under a four-year university education, Lyons explained.

As part of the two-day Board meeting, University System Chancellor Joseph W. Westphal updated the Board on the SystemÕs Strategic Planning Initiative, which the Board adopted in September.  Westphal told trustees that he and the seven university presidents have been meeting with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to talk about the planÕs goals and to begin developing the implementation processes.

Westphal reiterated that actual implementation wonÕt begin until after he has an opportunity to brief legislators on the plan, which is expected to occur in February.

In other business, the trustees:

 

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. For more information, log onto www.maine.edu

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