Messages from the President

Chronicle article on the rise of the “Mega-University”

Chronicle article on the rise of the “Mega-University”

All— Although clearly not the main topic of the article, members of UMS administration were interviewed for this, including the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and myself.  The article appears in this week’s print edition and online. As the writer knew of our efforts, at the System broadly and at UMPI particularly, we were asked about how we were reacting to new modalities and “disruptions,” most specifically the strategies employed by institutions such as those listed at the start of the article, which include SNHU and WGU.  Although the Chancellor notes that they are not viewed by UMS as “threats,” I would note that my goal for UMPI is to provide outstanding educational experiences for individuals within that those 30 million students whose needs are not currently met by the vast majority of higher education and thus ensure that public education is involved in such programming (not just the mega-scale privates and for-profits). Such service is central to our mission as a public institution dedicated to improving the lives of Maine citizens (as well as those far beyond our state borders) in a global economy.  Indeed, UMPI remains the only public higher education institution in New England capable of doing so in such capacities.

My particular thanks to all of those involved in our “YourPace” programming, both those doing the daily work now, and those planning additional programming for the future.

To quote Lee Gardner: “If mega-universities’ success can be reduced to one factor, it’s that they have pursued the more than 30 million Americans who have some college credit but who never graduated — a cohort half again as large as the more than 20 million Americans now enrolled.”

You’ll find information on the UMS response to this need of (literally) millions of Americans— and the nearly 200,000 Mainers in this situation— a bit deeper in the article, with specific reference to UMPI.  These are far too many individuals left behind.  Again, my thanks to all of those involved for the vision, the energy, and dedication that it takes to be in the vanguard providing these outstanding educational experiences for everyone.