30 Programs Across UMaine System Under Review

Jan 28, 2019

The University of Maine System is examining more than 30 programs across its campuses for potential improvement or consolidation, though officials say they would be surprised if any face elimination this year.

Robert Neely is the system's vice chancellor for academic affairs. He told the system board of trustees on Monday that the review is part of a lengthy process that began last August to examine programs failing to meet specific criteria, such as graduating a certain number of students over a three-year-period.

Of the 130 programs initially identified, 97 were removed in recent months.

Neely said he hopes the process will allow officials from across the system to take a long-term look at the health of each program and work on improvement, instead of being forced to rush into any decisions.

"It's to keep this in everyone's mind's eye, faculty all the way up through my office, of what programs are not performing at a level that we would really like to see them perform at," Neely said.

Neely said that he hopes by taking a long-term look at academic programs, the system won't repeat what happened in 2014, when the University of Southern Maine was forced to cut dozens of positions due to a large budget shortfall.

"I would rather see these ongoing processes, where we're thinking and we're implementing activities all along, and making education decisions, rather than getting to a crisis point and rushing into some signficant actions that really creates unnecessary trauma," he said.

Over the next few months, officials and faculty will meet to discuss the remaining programs, and provide recommendations to the board by May.