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UMaine Today Magazine

President's Message

Robert Kennedy, UMaine President

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The recent announcement of the University of Maine's new School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) marks an important milestone in UMaine's recent history. Much like our highly successful Climate Change Institute, Honors College and School of Marine Sciences, SPIA is an organizational entity that brings together members of our community from various academic areas. Its structure provides opportunities for collaboration among the more than 80 UMaine faculty members who are already teaching and conducting research in areas related to policy and international issues. The collaborations and shared energy that will result from this new arrangement will help to crystallize these efforts, leading to higher profiles for UMaine's scholarly activities, with more opportunities to help inform the important policy decisions that will help to define the future of our state, our country and our world.

The new school will complement the efforts of UMaine's two major, long-established policy areas the William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce, and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. SPIA also will help us coordinate UMaine's extensive related academic programs for more effective communication, outreach and service.

As much as any state, Maine depends on its economic and cultural connections to other countries. To be effective leaders in the future, our students will need a real understanding of the connections among policy, international affairs and business. When nations make changes in areas like environmental policy, economic policy and trade policy, the implications are significant and far-reaching. The ability to understand those implications will grow even more critical as the world continues to change, and the students and others who benefit from SPIA will be well equipped to meet those challenges.

UMaine's new School of Policy and International Affairs will provide another important way for us to fulfill our land-grant university responsibility of applying our knowledge and resources to creating a brighter future for our students, our state and the world around us.

Robert A. Kennedy Signature

UMaine Today Magazine
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