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About UMFK

University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

2003-2008 Strategic Plan: Planning Assumptions

Education Assumptions

  1. Based on the work force needs of the State of Maine and the region, the demand for higher education will continue. 
  2. Technological advances will continue to exert profound influences on all educational processes including competition for students from alternative delivery systems of post- secondary education. 
  3. Institutions of higher education will continue to be challenged to provide quality, affordable, technologically advanced and accessible education. 
  4. The University will continue to emphasize collaborative relationships with other educational institutions and with governmental, health, private and public service agencies. 
  5. Service learning will continue to be an integral component of higher education. 
  6. Curricular and extra-curricular improvements emphasizing the preparation of students to participate in a diverse, global society will continue to be integral to the institutional mission. 
  7. Increased demand for graduate studies in specific industries will spur new initiatives in academic program development at institutions of higher education. 
  8. The University will continue to encourage academic outreach programs to support life long learning. 
  9. Meeting institutional enrollment targets will continue to impact the operations of all campus services. 
  10. The primacy of teaching will remain at this institution. 
  11. There will be a continual emphasis on student aspirations and post-secondary awareness in Maine's secondary schools. 
  12. Establishment of the Community College may impact over the next five years the University's ability to offer associate degree programs. 

Economic Assumptions 

  1. The University of Maine System will continue to emphasize individual campus research as an engine of economic development. An emerging focal point for UMFK and the consortium will be research relating to the needs of rural communities in America. 
  2. Health care costs will continue to rise and impact the entire campus community. 
  3. Because of the lack of incremental funding from the state, campuses will be pressured to find operational savings and support from alternative sources of funding which may include increase in student tuition and fees. 
  4. Accountability, efficiency, access, and quality assurance will be important components of the University's operation as outlined in the UMS Strategic Plan, Strategic Direction Number Six. 
  5. Public Universities will have to increase fund-raising efforts to supplement tenuous state allocations and to continue to ensure affordability for Maine students. 
  6. High poverty and low economic growth in the region will continue to be an impetus for out-migration. 
  7. Due to the State of Maine's economic forecast, the University will strive to maintain affordable tuition costs. 
  8. Aroostook county will continue to shift from an economy based in forestry and agriculture to one based on winter sports tourism, health care, education and other service based industries. 
  9. Health and human services programs will continue to be high priorities for UMS campuses. 

Political Assumptions

  1. UMFK will continue to benefit from its mutually positive relationship with the Fort Kent and St. John Valley communities and also from area legislatures. 
  2. Both the executive and legislative branches of state government, as well as the UMS Board of Trustees and UMFK Board of Visitors, will promote efforts to improve the quality of undergraduate education at state universities. 
  3. Legislative issues such as teacher and nursing shortages will elicit responsiveness from institutions of higher education to fulfill societal demands. 
  4. Due to political redistricting and the loss of legislators, Aroostook county institutions of higher learning will need to work harder to ensure that their needs are represented at the state level. 

Social Assumptions 

  1. In response to global and societal changes, higher education, service learning and education programs will continue to prepare students for life, work and citizenship in the 21st century. 
  2. Institutions of higher education will play a role in deterring out-migration in the state by hiring and retaining highly qualified professionals. 
  3. Rapid societal changes coupled with persistent threats of global terrorism will lead to high levels of tension and reinforced demands for social and educational reform and responsiveness. 
  4. The sense of division between the northern and southern parts of Maine will continue. 
  5. Quality of life and environmental protection will continue to be a priority for the people of Maine. 
  6. Decrease in population in northern Maine will result in a decrease in number of students eligible to apply for admissions to the University and competition for qualified undergraduate students will intensify. 
  7. Demographic shifts will perpetuate changes in educational programming at institutions of higher education. 
  8. Responsiveness to social changes will increase the need for faculty and staff development. 
  9. The increase in the resident student population on campus will increase the need for support services and will change the fundamental culture of campus. 
  10. Faculty and staff retirements will present opportunities and institutional challenges for reform and refinement of educational programs. 
  11. The aging population will continue to grow and present a significant demand for health and social services and continuing education programming. 

University of Maine System Assumptions
(from University of Maine System FY 2004-2005 Biennium Request)

  1. UMS will reduce or eliminate the gap in student financial aid. 
  2. UMS will take the lead role in a long-term state partnership with Maine's public schools in education-related agencies. 
  3. UMS enrollment will increase 2% in each of the next fiscal years. 
  4. Employees will receive compensation increases and will pay a greater share of health care benefits. 
  5. The UMS share of System-provided employee health care costs, scheduled to increase 18% during FY04 under the existing contract, will continue to increase comparably under the next agreement.