- USM Foundation Board
- Board of Visitors
- Athletic Development Council
- College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Advisory Board (CAHS)
- College of Science, Technology, and Health Advisory Council
- Corporate Partners Executive Committee
- Kate Cheney Chapell '83 Center for Book Arts Advisory Board
- LAC Community Advisory Board
- Muskie School Board of Visitors
- OLLI Committee
- Osher Map Library Associates
- School of Business Advisory Council
- School of Education and Human Development Advisory Council
- School of Engineering and Physical Sciences Advisory Council
- School of Law Board of Visitors
- School of Music Advisory Board
All-Boards Meeting, June 10, 2011
USM All-Board Meeting
June 10, 2011
I’d like to begin by stating the obvious: As advisory board members you are critical to USM’s success because you guide, advocate for, and encourage our schools and colleges. We have an opportunity this morning to thank you for your time, service and wisdom. All of us here at USM deeply appreciate your support and assistance.
As you know, for more than two years, USM has been engaged in a transformative process to right-size the institution, build synergies across academic divisions, and provide students with a 21st-century education. As you will hear from the deans who will present today, we have come through the restructuring process a stronger institution. In contrast to the last few years, we are now positioning ourselves to begin building in strategic ways that boost USM’s prestige, increase our enrollment, and generate revenues that ensure our mission to educate students—secure in the knowledge that our graduates are competitive in the workplace—and to assist our communities and the state by lending our academic expertise to the problems and issues they are facing.
Before our five deans speak, I’d like to present to you a vision of USM’s future that builds on our strengths and carves out our role as a distinctive public comprehensive university.
As the University of Southern Maine emerges from years of fiscal crisis, it is revitalized and refocused to play a pivotal role in our region’s cultural, academic, and economic development. The intellectual center of southern and central Maine, USM reaffirms its commitment: to embracing student access, rigorous and state-of-the-art learning, and success; to applying its knowledge to the needs of the community and the state; and to creating new programs that serve the needs of our region and this century. We are committed to continuing the strategic deployment of our resources so that we can build on our strengths while incentivizing teaching, research, and creative activity.
We will do this through innovative collaboration with the cultural organizations, businesses, and industries that depend on USM to prepare graduates for the workplace of the 21st century. We will cultivate a passionate commitment to affordability for Maine students so that more undergraduate and graduate students enroll in the university and stay through graduation. We will reduce the costs of education at the same time that we maintain high quality and rigorous standards. We understand that this requires us to reassess our academic programs with an eye to bringing them into alignment with regional, state, and national needs.
USM will develop academic distinction in:
- Environmental health, drawing together the sciences, technology, Muskie, and nursing
- Entrepreneurship, with emphasis on the nexus between technology, business, humanities, and computer science
- Music/art and the sciences in areas such as sound recording technology, the digital arts, and design science
- Teacher preparation at the undergraduate and graduate levels, especially in math and science, with emphasis on strategically linking USM to the K-12 sector so that we align curricula and attend to student success throughout the K-20 continuum.
USM will consider new programs in tourism, organizational writing, justice studies, and forensics at the same time that it pays close attention to adult students who seek professional and liberal education at USM. USM will also maintain its special relationship with the University of Maine System Law School, a state gem that consistently produces leaders for the bench, the bar, business, and the public and non-profit sectors.
Since its founding in 1878 as a regional normal school, the University of Southern Maine (USM) has remained dedicated to preparing students for roles in building Maine’s future. The 21st century poses new challenges affecting not only this university but also public higher education in Maine and the United States. If USM is to rise to those challenges, it must embrace the expectations of students and their current or future employers while working in partnership with them to foster a culture of lifelong learning that will energize Maine’s economy through the middle of this century.
Preparing USM for long-term success will require an unprecedented level of collaboration by members of the academic and external communities. USM will place its most cherished traditions, programs, and practices beneath the microscope and have the courage to make the right choices for the good of our students and our region. In return, our community supporters must mobilize broadly and advocate forcefully for the resources necessary to realize their expectations for Maine’s only public comprehensive university in the economic, intellectual, and cultural center of our state. Working together with a sense of common cause and public good, we will make our mark on the 21st century.