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UMFK Board of Visitors to discuss UMS as well as UMFK strategic plans at April 16 meeting

April 9, 2004

NR04073

The University of Maine at Fort Kent Board of Visitors will discuss the University of Maine System's recently released strategic plan as well as UMFK's own strategic plan when they hold their regular meeting on Friday, April 16, at 10:00 a.m. in the Nadeau Hall teleconference room.

Board Chairperson Jim Thibodeau will lead the discussion, inviting comments from his fellow directors on the 13-member visiting board.

System officials and members of the UMS Board of Trustees are scheduled to be on the Fort Kent campus on April 22 to receive feedback on the UMS proposal from a wide range of campus and community constituents including faculty, students and alumni.

"It is important that the voices of all campus and community stakeholders be heard in this process. The Board of Visitors are a very important connection between this institution and the communities we serve, and the system trustees," said President Richard Cost.

Discussion on the UMS strategic plan will follow a detailed report on campus happenings by President Richard Cost and an update on the self-study currently being undertaken by the campus community in preparation for a 2005 re-accreditation visit by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The visiting board will hear about the University of Maine at Fort Kent's own strategic planning process, which is in its next to final draft form. The document is the result of a year-long cooperative effort of a wide cross-section of individuals both on and off the university campus. Pieces of the plan have been shared with visitors and the campus community along the way and the document is close to completion.

"The UMFK plan builds upon our setting in a rural community and how the needs of rural communities permeate our academic curriculum," said Cost. "The plan highlights our ongoing mission to preserve and celebrate the Acadian/Franco-American experience in Maine and our proximity to the Maine wilderness in our science and environmental programs."

The UMFK leader has stressed, on numerous occasions, the need to incorporate the natural and cultural environment of the St. John Valley in any plans for the university's future. Both are key messages in the university's draft plan.

The university facilities plan and capital will be the main topic of discussion when John Murphy, vice president for administration presents an update on construction of the new campus residence hall and Acadian Archives building. Both facilities are nearing completion.