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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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From its very beginning more than 130 years ago, The University of Maine's reason for existence has been to address the state's most urgent problems. Over the years, we have turned our attention to finding better ways to feed a hungry population, bringing Maine into the industrial age, and developing products and technologies to make our economy more competitive.

Right now, we can identify no need more urgent than helping to bolster education in Maine preschool through graduate school. Although for decades UMaine's College of Education and Human Development has done an outstanding job of educating teachers and providing outreach to schools, it is time for the entire University to become a more central and comprehensive player in support of education in Maine.

Our Board of Visitors asked me to commission a task force report on the best ways for us to support Maine schools. Based on this report, which surveyed teachers and principals across the state, we have developed a bold plan. Throughout the curricula of UMaine's five colleges, we will place more emphasis on preparing teachers and supporting schools. A University priority will be the recruitment of more prospective math and science teachers to meet a state and national shortage. We also will attempt to make master's degrees in academic subject areas available throughout Maine, providing educators with accessible opportunities for professional development.

I have appointed Dr. Sue Huseman, an established leader in higher education, to head the University-wide effort as Director of UMaine's Center for Teaching Excellence. We are focusing on three primary desired outcomes:

Teachers in Maine will be more numerous, better prepared, and more effective.

Maine will have a fully adequate supply of mathematics and science teachers to meet its needs (as well as teachers in other shortage areas, such as special education and languages).

It will be far easier for teachers to complete advanced degrees, and professors at other University of Maine System campuses to find opportunities for professional renewal by participating in the teaching of master's programs.

Over time, the effect of all these improvements toward meeting Maine's Learning Results, toward increased college attendance and completion rates, and toward improving the state's economy will be remarkable. Success will result from a coalition of the University System, state government, teachers, and school administrators. Maine schools and teachers will always be the stars of this show. We are here in a supporting role. Partnering with Maine's schools, we intend to help them do their overwhelmingly important job.

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