THREE Years  |  ONE Strategic University  |  GENERATIONS of Resilience

Reimagining work began in May of 2020, when University of Maine at Farmington President Edward Serna contracted with consultants from Berkeley Research Group to develop a comprehensive assessment and thorough strategic recommendations. Our current challenges demand bold action and an ambitious timeline: UMF Reimagined, by 2024.

We’ve rolled up our sleeves to face big problems with a simple approach: We acknowledge where we are. We uncover and analyze how we got here. Then we work together to reimagine inspired and lasting solutions.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination encircles the world.” —  Albert Einstein

UMF President Edward Serna
University of Maine at Farmington President Edward Serna

In the months after I arrived in Farmington, countless members of the UMF community gathered and listened to one another. We knew we had work to do. Before long, we understood each other and the nature of the challenges before us. But just as we’d begun our ambitious planning journey, a global pandemic strained our time and resources even more.

That’s one of the many reasons I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made. And it’s no wonder. This campus was founded in 1864 as Maine’s first publicly funded normal school, and the Western State Normal School graduated its inaugural class in 1866. Since then, it has gone by different names and added a liberal arts curriculum before it joined the University of Maine System in 1968. By then, it was known as the University of Maine at Farmington.

Early on, “normal” meant providing model classrooms in which faculty taught model teaching practices. Nothing is normal anymore, but Farmington has always been a model. It has stood the test of time — and now we’re poised to lead.

We all know why we’re here: We meet our students where they are. We support them as they grow and learn. And we prepare them for the ever-changing world that awaits them. In unfamiliar terrain, knowing where we’ve been and where are now helps us find a new path forward.

For us, moving forward requires courage. We can no longer afford to be a smart, welcoming university with a solid strategic plan. In these times, it will take our collective imagination and legendary dedication to become a strategic university. UMF is building on its foundation as an institution of academic excellence, an engaged member of the community and a generous guide for the students we are honored to serve, now and for generations to come.

That is the ground from which we’re stepping forward today. And I’m confident it will take us farther than we can imagine.


Edward Serna
University of Maine at Farmington

Structurally sound. Strategically designed.

As UMF moves forward to build a solid structural framework with new strategic initiatives, our mission remains the same — providing excellent and affordable public liberal arts and teacher education for students from our remarkable region, across the state of Maine — and beyond. In these complex times, a clear focus guides us in our daily work of connecting with and inspiring those hungry to learn.

This Strategic Plan looks to specific milestones and objective measures for each priority, building a foundation for what will follow these first three years.

We’re reframing our future.

We are shoring up UMF from its strong foundation to create a new and more resilient way forward.

Bridge pillars form the foundation to carry — and distribute — its load for years to come. A thoughtful crossing spans a gap that can dry up, swell and freeze, by the day, by the season or by the year. At the same time, it offers a clear path across, to places we can’t wait to explore.

We have plenty of work to do. These are the priorities we’re building on now. And, from here out, we’re positioned to thrive.

Our Three Pillars of Value — offering Social, Environmental and Economic Benefits


From here out, we’re positioned to thrive.

UMF’s dedication to excellent undergraduate and graduate education, delivered in a deeply supportive residential setting, is why our current students love UMF. But we can — and must — do more. We’re not just thinking ahead to welcome commuters, transfer students and others eager for continuing education. From here out, our strategic university will design flexible systems that celebrate and build on our formidable strengths while we innovate to leverage our unique offerings within the University of Maine system.

This is UMF Reimagined. Please join us.

Progress & Next Steps Learn More Resources

Contact Us

We intend for this Strategic Plan to be an open, inclusive and transparent endeavor. If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact us:

Strategic Plan Implementation
University of Maine at Farmington
Merrill Hall
224 Main Street
Farmington, Maine USA  04938
tel  207-778-7256
fax  207-778-8189
TDD/TY  207-778-7244