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UMaine Today Magazine

First Impression from the President

President Peter S. Hoff
President Peter S. Hoff

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One of The University of Maine's most distinctive qualities and, from an educational and economic standpoint, one of its most important is UMaine's role as a research university. Of the 3,800 accredited universities and colleges in the U.S., UMaine is one of just 145 schools to hold the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's top classification "Doctoral Research Extensive University." No other institution in Maine qualifies for this category.

Sometimes people think the term "research" refers only to the physical sciences and engineering. In fact, research encompasses all forms of academic scholarship, including that which involves the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and professional disciplines. While UMaine maintains an impressive national reputation in science and engineering, its reputation in those other research areas is equally strong and as vital to the needs of our state.

In the last few years, Maine policy leaders and voters have expressed a deeper commitment to all aspects of University-based research and their interrelationship with liberal education, job creation, and economic growth. Policy makers increased state appropriations for higher education following years of budget cuts and flat-funding during much of the 1990s. State leaders also created the Maine Economic Improvement Fund to help the University leverage federal and private research funds, opening learning and discovery opportunities for students and faculty alike not to mention the economic benefits that millions of dollars in federal matching funds provide.

In 1998 and in 2001, Maine voters approved, by wide margins, two bond proposals to improve higher education's ability to educate people and to create new economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and job seekers. Through those bond issues, Maine voters sent a clear signal to policy makers: the public values higher education, and wants the state to invest in higher education as an economic growth strategy.

And the investment is paying dividends, even in the midst of the current economic recession. At UMaine, enrollment continues to grow impressively, both in quality and quantity. The faculty's performance as teachers and scholars receives high marks by all measures of quality. Our graduates are having no trouble finding employment or being accepted to graduate school. More and more businesses and entrepreneurs are turning to UMaine for help developing products or growing market share.

This issue of UMaine Today offers a good cross section of the many ways The University of Maine is addressing today's educational, cultural, social, and economic challenges. That's the essence of our mission as Maine's flagship university, and as Maine's center of learning, discovery, and service to the public: making a difference for Maine and its people.

President Peter S. Hoff's Signature

Peter S. Hoff


UMaine Today Magazine
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