Parthenon Report

The Professional and Graduate Center in Portland is a transformative concept for the University of Maine System:

  • There is strong support from the professional community to create a center which brings graduate business and legal education under one roof and helps drive the growth of small to medium businesses across Maine
  • There is clear student demand for revitalized graduate professional offerings in the Portland area
  • Market testing suggests that the Center, under conservative assumptions, could double in enrollments as it comes to scale
  • The Center can be economically self-sustaining in 3-5 years given appropriate investment, autonomy and leadership
  • Finally, the Center will create a model for distributed education across locations and between institutions in the University of Maine System and across the state of Maine

 Several next steps can build momentum for the Center and pave the way for broader stakeholder buy-in:

  • Establishment of a broader advisory committee of statewide business leaders to shepherd the Center creation process, inform the
  • leadership hiring process and spearhead the broader communication agenda around Center creation
  • Initial design of a leadership search process to identify likely candidate list and evaluate potential for entrepreneurial Center leadership grounded at the intersection of business and law.
  • Building of System stakeholder alignment along three critical elements:
  1. Degree granting authority: degrees through the Center are University of Maine degrees (Maine Law degrees continue to be independently granted)
  2. Accreditation: JD program is ABA accredited; MBA program is AACSB accredited
  3. Governance: Center leadership reports directly to the Chancellor, with business faculty receiving joint appointments to USM and U.Maine schools of business through their Center affiliation
  • Development of one integrated, entrepreneurial MBA program and multi-disciplinary program offerings with Maine Law
  • Consideration of a range of facility options to house the critical elements of the Center, and to exemplify the differentiated, autonomous nature of the Center as a new entity dedicated to meeting the labor needs of the state of Maine

Parthenon Group Full Report