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November / December 2003

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UMaine Today Magazine

First Impression from the President

President Peter S. Hoff
President Peter S. Hoff

Photo by Warren Roos

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The University of Maine is a place where students find and achieve their dreams. As I outlined in my State of the University Address last month, our vision for the future involves high academic standards, increased graduation rates, more endowed academic chairs, and expanded graduate programs, including more support for graduate assistants. The vision also ensures that UMaine's campus is a welcoming environment: beautiful, affordable, and easy to navigate.

However, any complete vision of UMaine as the way university life should be must address the role of our Raymond H. Fogler Library. Built in 1942, our library is Maine's largest and most advanced. The entire state depends on it to support the highest levels of research and scholarship. But for many years, the library has faced serious challenges.

Although Fogler Library collections include approximately 1 million volumes and other resources, for lack of space, about a third of those collections books, journals, Special Collections materials, and documents must be stored in an annex building. The library also needs more space to accommodate the many students and scholars who make use of it every day. In addition to those space demands, the facility is not yet fully ADA compliant and it needs technological improvements to meet the growing needs of the 21st century.

The most overwhelming current challenge is the rapid escalation of the cost of scholarly journals, increasing by about 15 percent annually. At this rate, our periodicals budget would equal our entire library budget by FY08, and the entire UMaine budget by FY35.

We are now working on a state strategy to address our desperate need for an expanded and improved Fogler Library. We need to budget aggressively, work at the national and international levels, develop a fair and rational system for determining journal subscriptions, and seek the necessary funding to keep Fogler Library healthy. We will be requesting funds in the state supplemental budget to help with cost increases in scholarly journals. And we will be campaigning for public and private funds to support a major addition to the library, including necessary technology upgrades to remain on the cutting edge in the 21st century.

Today we are rebuilding the majestic steps leading to the front entrance of Fogler Library. The project is part of UMaine's commitment to safety and stewardship. With it, we are taking the right steps to the future.

President Peter S. Hoff's Signature

Peter S. Hoff


UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
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Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776

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