PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — At it meeting on Nov. 5 in Presque Isle, University of Maine System trustees approved the design recommendations of a steering committee tasked with improving transferability among UMS institutions.
Trustees heard a presentation from Wilson Hess, president of the University of Maine at Fort Kent and chairman of the steering committee, who said the system should implement credit transfer best practices, which include adding Web-based tools to help students investigate transfer options between campuses and also making the required outcomes of lower division courses more equitable among campuses so that they are more seamlessly transferable.
“This set of recommendations will create a statewide, more robust, credit transfer system across the University of Maine System,” Hess explained. “One aspect that will enhance this process is our plan to develop a concierge type of service to guide and counsel traditional and nontraditional students through the transfer process.” Hess added that another recommendation focuses on giving adult students academic credit for lifetime and professional experiences, known as prior learning assessment.
Chancellor James Page provided a historical perspective on the credit transfer initiative. He said, “Today we passed a milestone in the history of the University of Maine System. Adopting this policy makes explicit a process that — more than forty years ago — was implicit in the system’s original charter.”
Hess noted that the credit transfer steering committee will now engage the campuses in an implementation process, the details of which will be presented to the trustees at its January meeting.
The trustees also voted to create a systemwide steering committee to develop a plan that would make it easier for adult students with some college credit to complete their degree. This is the fourth major initiative, along with credit transfer, performance based funding and systemwide administrative reviews, which falls under a set of goals and actions established by system trustees earlier this year to move the University System quickly forward in the areas of program and workforce development, cost control and student success.
Many items related to university facilities were considered and approved, including:
* Renaming what is currently called the Support Building at the University of Maine at Machias to the Crandlemire Support Building in honor of Don Crandlemire, who served as UMM’s director of physical plant for 25 years.
* Continuation of a five-year lease for UMA classroom, lab and office space housed at the Augusta Civic Center.
* Expansion of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center to create a facility for testing wind turbines in wind and wave environments.
* Approval of the University of Southern Maine‘s plan to replace the central heat plant and to refurbish a 600,000-gallon water tank. Both are located on the Gorham campus and are more than 45 years old.
Trustees also approved the UMS Annual Financial Report and reviewed the Fall 2012 student enrollment report.
The next meeting of UMS trustees will be held Jan. 28 at system headquarters at 16 Central St. in Bangor.