The land-grant university concept that dates to the Civil War has brilliantly withstood the test of time. Universities such as UMaine have educated generations of leaders, provided the new knowledge that has helped our society prosper, and extended resources that improve lives in meaningful ways. By design and through practice, land-grant universities have become indispensable to their home states.
This issue of UMaine Today provides several good examples of how the contemporary University of Maine works to make lives better all across the state.
When Gov. John Baldacci saw the need for a comprehensive look at the impact of climate change on Maine and its likely long-term effects, he turned to UMaine. Our faculty delivered by providing a report that will frame policy discussions related to energy, land use and countless other issues for years to come. UMaine’s Compost School has significant environmental ripple effects on businesses and communities. Our EPA-funded work will protect Maine’s precious lakes, and research aiming to make biofuels from seaweed may provide an important use for an abundant natural resource. On an individual level, we also are proud of the results of our efforts to find ways to deliver a UMaine education to students through distance education.
As we see the effect of the economic difficulties on our friends and neighbors, the time is right to reflect on UMaine’s impact close to home, and to resolve to continue to find ways to optimally serve the people of Maine.