Planning for a statewide Maine College of Engineering, Computing and Information Science (MCECIS) began today with a virtual vision session involving 180 leaders in industry and education according to a press release issued this morning. Participants included faculty and staff at University of Maine and at USM as well as most other campuses in the University of Maine System, members of Industrial Advisory Board that support programs that would become part of MCECIS, K-12 educators and non-profit and fundraising.
MCECIS is expected to unify and expand undergraduate engineering programs at the University of Maine and at USM, expand University Maine graduate engineering programs to Portland, streamline pathways into the statewide college from all UMS universities and create new opportunities for shared programs, interdisciplinary structures and partnerships.
The initiative will also include renovations to University of Maine’s engineering education infrastructure in addition to the new Fernald Engineering Education and Design Center in Orono slated for completion in the summer of 2022.
The statewide college is being developed with the support of a $75 million investment from the Harold Alfond Foundation, a part of the $240. million grant to the University of Maine System announced in the fall that also challenges the University of Maine System to secure an additional $75. million in matching funds over the next decade. Foundation Chair Gregory Powell joined Chancellor Daniel Malloy, University of Maine President Ferrini-Mundig and USM President Glenn Cummings in kicking off the vision planning.
“Today is about thinking big and planning for greatness,” said Chancellor Daniel Malloy in the press release. “The Harold Alfond Foundation’s commitment to Maine has provided us with a once-in-a generation opportunity to imagine a statewide college with multi-university integration, resources, world-class programs, faculty, students and facilities to shape the future for decades to come.”
For more background information on the Harold Alfond Foundation’s commitment to Maine, please see two posts here dated on October 6, 2020 and October 7, 2020.