PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Maine System this week identified more than 100 Maine business, legal and public service leaders to help create a graduate learning center that brings together business and law programs under one roof.
The system released on Thursday a list of 106 professionals who will form the advisory board of the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies. The center aims to unite the graduate business programs at the system’s campuses in Orono and Portland, the University of Maine School of Law, and potentially the Muskie School of Public Service.
Part of the goal of the center is to build closer ties with the business community and meet the needs of Maine employers and create a program that is more attractive to potential students, system officials have said.
A few weeks after the 2014 election, Jim Page, the Chancellor of the University of Maine System, asked me if I would take on the job of creating the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies – a revolutionary initiative that will bring together under one roof the Maine Law School, an MBA program created by merging the two existing programs in Orono and Portland, and the Muskie School of Public Service.
I jumped at the chance. After all, I had first put this idea forward in a January 2009 speech on the reform of public higher education in Maine – the speech that triggered two campaigns for governor.
While you are here, you’ll get some CLE credits, learn some tools that will help you take advantage of future opportunities, hone your skills and reconnect with old friends.
I would ask you also to spend some time thinking about how we train and educate lawyers and other professionals in our Maine community, and whether, in light of what we are seeing in Maine today, it’s time to rethink some of what we do.
Our Maine community is facing a raft of challenges.
The Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies, which will be one of the first benefits of Chancellor Jim Page’s commitment to creating One University from the current seven-university System, should be one of the most productive and exciting reforms in higher education in Maine history, and could make the University of Maine System a leader in graduate and professional education.
The Center is a demand-driven response to student needs and Maine’s economic challenges, and it is, and needs to be, significantly supported by outside, private investment. It will be a consortium initially comprised of the System’s single MBA program, the Maine Law School and the Muskie School of Public Service graduate programs in public health and in policy, planning and management, and it will be located in one building in Portland, along with an incubator/accelerator facility that will marry innovation with the classrooms.
BANGOR, Maine — The former gubernatorial candidate leading the University of Maine System’s push to start a joint graduate business and law center told the system’s board on Sunday that he’s already sitting down with deans and faculty to figure out what programs the center might offer. “This is an opportunity to innovate and excel, and I’m confident that we can do both,” Eliot Cutler told UMS trustees Sunday, during the first day of its two-day regular meeting. “I don’t yet have all the answers.”
BANGOR, Maine — The Parthenon Group Report on the market opportunity and feasibility for a Portland-based center was presented to the UMS Board of Trustees in November of 2014 and recommended as a next step the hiring of a highly credentialed and entrepreneurial leader to direct the development of the center.