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UMaine Today Magazine

President's Message

President Robert A. Kennedy
President Robert A. Kennedy

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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.

Robert A. Kennedy Signature

UMaine Today Magazine
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