As a "human organism," the
University of Maine will prosper to the extent it interacts publicly,
honestly and effectively with its environment, said Robert Edwards,
president emeritus of Bowdoin College and a member of the University of
Maine Board of Visitors, in his keynote address during my installation
ceremony Sept. 23. As a land-grant university, he added, this has always
been our enduring strength and opportunity.
As emphasized by President Edwards, the highest calling of higher
education is to meet the rapid changes in the world around us through
adaptation, innovation and leadership. At UMaine, we have started the
process by establishing a new model for how a public university,
especially Maine's land-grant university, can serve the needs of the
state and its citizens. This new model aspires to capture — to actualize
— the spirit of "the people's universities." It's an intent put forth by
visionaries whose ideas revolutionized American higher education nearly
150 years ago when they suggested that the university and community
share an intricate bond.
This new model involves being responsive and flexible enough to adapt to
changing societal needs, while capitalizing on our individual and
collective strengths. It also means greater collaboration with other
institutions, and taking a leadership role in creative efforts to pool
resources and expertise.
Collaborations with other educational and research institutions, and the
integration of UMaine across the state, exemplify the new and unique
model for a land-grant university. UMaine is in a position to contribute
through partnerships, creative planning and mobilization to solve some
of the state's most urgent problems. And it's not just our scientists
and engineers who will contribute. While we have the ability to solve
the technical problems associated with technology, we must also be
prepared to solve the social, ethical and policy issues, and they often
require the most creativity.
It is through this collaborative approach — the new model — that UMaine
will find its way to an exciting future. We have so much going for us
now, and I believe we are on the way to accomplishing extraordinary
things that will have untold benefits to society.
UMaine Today Magazine
Department of University Relations
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Phone: (207) 581-3744 | Fax: (207) 581-3776