June 13, 2005
At their recent meeting on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved a newly revised mission statement for Fort Kent and the purchase of a residential property adjacent to the St. John Valley campus.
The new mission statement was drafted by a twenty-three member committee comprised of UMFK faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the St. John Valley community, as part of the drafting of a new five-year strategic plan that will go before the Board of Trustees in September.
The mission statement, upon which the strategic plan was developed, focuses on UMFK's strengths as a quality liberal arts based university that responds to the needs of Northern Maine.
Included in the document are references to the unique culture and environment that have defined and continue to strengthen the mission of UMFK, such as is found in the following section:
"Our curriculum emphasizes the special challenges of rural communities in America. The university preserves and fosters an appreciation of the Acadian and Franco-American heritage and culture while welcoming students of all ethnic and racial heritages. We celebrate our proximity to the wonder of Maine's wilderness and the joys of outdoor sports. UMFK contributes to the economic, social and cultural development of the St. John Valley and we believe that a diverse student body enriches the learning experience of all."
UMFK's strategic planning committee began working on the document in January of 2003. In recent months, committee members and the university community revised the mission statement, adding a section about the campus's participation in the Maine State Consortium along with the University of Maine System campuses in Presque Isle and Machias.
"The revised mission statement clearly articulates UMFK's unique niche and important role in serving the needs of northernmost Maine. It also speaks to the consortium, under which the three smaller institutions in the University of Maine System will work together to maximize efficiencies of operation and enhance educational quality," said Cost.
The UMS Board of Trustees also approved the purchase of a residential property adjacent to the UMFK campus that will be used to house additional faculty office space and possibly hold seminar courses.
The private home, located at 62 Pleasant Street, sits on a piece of property identified in a long-range facilities master plan for UMFK submitted to the University of Maine System a number of years ago.