University of Maine System trustees to tackle credit transfers, administrative review

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 25, 2013, at 1:25 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The University of Maine System board of trustees on Monday will be brought up to speed on several major initiatives, including a long-awaited credit transfer program and a systemwide administrative review, aimed at making the system more efficient.

The trustees’ all-day meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28, at the University of Maine System headquarters on Central Street in downtown Bangor.

Finding a solution to the longstanding problem of how to efficiently and effectively transfer course credits among the system’s universities and the Maine Community College System appears on a long list of goals and initiatives adopted by the trustees a year ago.

Wilson Hess, University of Maine at Fort Kent president and chairman of the credit transfer steering committee, will present recommendations for how to implement credit transfer changes within the system, a first step in solving the wider problem of transferring between the state’s public universities and the community college system.

Another challenge that appears on that list of board goals is to align funding with performance-based outcomes, such as the number of degrees awarded, the number of adults older than 30 who earn a degree, contribution to economic development, and meeting the needs of Maine’s workforce.

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Rebecca Wyke will present the outcomes-based funding model proposal to trustees on Monday. The plan allocates a portion of the state’s Education and General Appropriation to each campus based on their performance in achieving certain goals and outcomes that aim to get people degrees and put them to work, according to the text of the recommendation that will be presented to trustees.

Also at Monday’s meeting, a review team will update trustees on the concept of establishing International Study Centers at the University of Maine in Orono and University of Southern Maine. The system would partner with an “international recruiting firm” in an attempt to draw international students to the universities through these study centers.

Other business items include:

• Revisions to the background screening policy for job finalists, as policy variations from university to university could “pose a significant risk for UMS,” according to a summary of the agenda item.

• Renovations to UMaine’s Estabrooke Hall to create a new collaborative-active learning classroom.

• Replacement of a pair of outdated oil-fired boilers at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Merrill Hall, as well as the installation of 80 geothermal wells, which are expected to reduce the campus’ annual oil consumption by more than 28,000 gallons.

An agenda for Monday’s meeting, as well as information about each of the items on the agenda, is posted at www.maine.edu/system/January282013BOTMeetingMaterials.php.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/25/news/bangor/university-of-maine-system-trustees-to-tackle-credit-transfers-administrative-review/ printed on September 30, 2014