As I shared with the campus in my October Community Conversation, the UMaine family has embarked upon a planning process this academic year that will be characterized as inclusive, substantive and innovative to produce a bold yet pragmatic plan for our future.
We’re calling this the Blue Sky Project, and with good reason. A blue sky symbolizes clarity, opportunity and hope. Blue sky ideas are necessary when the difficult problems that we are facing require “thinking outside of the box.” Blue is the color of Maine and the University of Maine. It is also the color of success, which we will achieve, together, through creative thought and action.
Dr. Linda Silka and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center are facilitating this planning process with the Strategic Planning Leadership Team and the President’s Cabinet. We will be diligent about seeking your input through the convening of a number of focus or cluster groups to clearly identify the current strengths of and challenges facing UMaine (who we are today), the right vision and opportunities for UMaine (where do we want to be in five to seven years) and how we achieve our vision (a financially sustainable strategy).
I invite you to fully participate in this process through one or several of the venues being provided by the planning process. We sincerely desire to achieve a consensus-based vision and plan to unveil in April 2012. I hope you will join us in this effort.