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Summer 2002

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UMaine Today Magazine

First Impression from the President

President Peter S. Hoff
President Peter S. Hoff

Photo Courtesy of
Bangor Daily News

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It is difficult to overstate how much Maine's future depends on the quality of education provided within and across the state. Education is the driving force that will determine Maine's ability to create economic prosperity and to provide a rewarding and satisfying quality of life for residents, and for those it hopes to attract. Education at every level is the arena where the most difficult challenges we face are addressed and resolved for future generations.

The University of Maine has a major responsibility for ensuring the state's overall quality of education. Besides being the state's largest single producer of college graduates, UMaine also serves as the state's largest preparer of educators. Nearly one-third of the teachers educated in the state received at least one degree from UMaine. A large percentage of principals, superintendents, and guidance counselors hold UMaine degrees as well. Through those graduates, UMaine continues to affect the quality, nature, and performance of Maine's education system.

In light of those facts, The University of Maine Board of Visitors has taken a strong interest in the future of K-12 education in Maine. It has discussed the subject in detail with professors, with K-12 educators, and with Governor King and legislators. To support the Board's effort, I created a K-12 Task Force to systematically review UMaine's role with regard to K-12 education.

The recommendations of the Board of Visitors and the detailed Task Force report on which the recommendations were based: The synergistic relationship between the University and Maine's elementary and secondary schools is fundamental to the state's success. Beyond preparing teachers, the University also provides professional development for teachers and administrators. UMaine also helps the process of school reform through outreach efforts.

Contrary to common assumptions, these functions are responsibilities of the entire University, not simply those of our College of Education and Human Development. That is why the University has announced a new initiative to connect our academic disciplines more broadly, thoroughly, and effectively with Maine's schools and their needs. Several major federal grants are enabling professors in engineering, mathematics, and the sciences to become directly involved in Maine K-12 classrooms.

UMaine aspires to be a national leader and innovator in integrating University resources with K-12 education. We believe that the University will learn and gain as much through this interaction as Maine's schools. The Board's recommendations, and the Task Force's detailed assessment, will help us meet the challenge. I invite you to review the full set of recommendations on our Web site.

President Peter S. Hoff's Signature

Peter S. Hoff


UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
5761 Howard A. Keyo Public Affairs Building
Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776

The University of Maine
, Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System