One of The University of Maine's
most distinctive qualities — and, from an educational and economic
standpoint, one of its most important — is UMaine's role as a research
university. Of the 3,800 accredited universities and colleges in the
U.S., UMaine is one of just 145 schools to hold the Carnegie Foundation
for the Advancement of Teaching's top classification — "Doctoral
Research Extensive University." No other institution in Maine qualifies
for this category.
Sometimes people think the term "research" refers only to the physical
sciences and engineering. In fact, research encompasses all forms of
academic scholarship, including that which involves the arts,
humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and professional
disciplines. While UMaine maintains an impressive national reputation in
science and engineering, its reputation in those other research areas is
equally strong — and as vital to the needs of our state.
In the last few years, Maine policy leaders and voters have expressed a
deeper commitment to all aspects of University-based research and their
interrelationship with liberal education, job creation, and economic
growth. Policy makers increased state appropriations for higher
education following years of budget cuts and flat-funding during much of
the 1990s. State leaders also created the Maine Economic Improvement
Fund to help the University leverage federal and private research funds,
opening learning and discovery opportunities for students and faculty
alike — not to mention the economic benefits that millions of dollars in
federal matching funds provide.
In 1998 and in 2001, Maine voters approved, by wide margins, two bond
proposals to improve higher education's ability to educate people and to
create new economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and job
seekers. Through those bond issues, Maine voters sent a clear signal to
policy makers: the public values higher education, and wants the state
to invest in higher education as an economic growth strategy.
And the investment is paying dividends, even in the midst of the current
economic recession. At UMaine, enrollment continues to grow
impressively, both in quality and quantity. The faculty's performance as
teachers and scholars receives high marks by all measures of quality.
Our graduates are having no trouble finding employment or being accepted
to graduate school. More and more businesses and entrepreneurs are
turning to UMaine for help developing products or growing market share.
This issue of UMaine Today offers a good cross section of the many ways
The University of Maine is addressing today's educational, cultural,
social, and economic challenges. That's the essence of our mission as
Maine's flagship university, and as Maine's center of learning,
discovery, and service to the public: making a difference for Maine and
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