Please consult this page regularly for the latest updates and developments that reflect the University’s ongoing efforts and communications during the strategic planning process.

As UMF President Edward Serna and other campus leaders continue to share important updates by email, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to frequently check and carefully read all campus messages.

Thank you for engaging in this important work with UMF. 

On Friday, March 12, BRG hosted a comprehensive virtual Campus Town Hall presentation where they outlined their findings and recommendations. The presentation included a draft of the Strategic Plan as well as comments and feedback from all in attendance. See the Strategic Plan Draft (pdf) and the Town Hall Presentation (pdf).

Good morning, UMF Community —

With the current budget and enrollment updates in mind, it remains imperative that we continue to engage in our strategic planning initiative so that we can address long-term stability holistically. I want to thank everyone who has participated in this process thus far by responding to surveys, signing up for focus groups and sharing your thoughts and ideas with BRG.

To date, BRG has received over 400 responses to the Strategic Planning Stakeholder Survey and almost 200 responses to the Student Survey. Over the course of the next two weeks — as we wrap up Phase 2 of the plan — BRG is facilitating 16 focus groups to delve more deeply into specific themes and topics.

The major themes being addressed in the various focus groups include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening the UMF community

  • Student engagement and success

  • Diversity and inclusion

  • Long-term growth and stability

  • Foundational strength

 

As always, they welcome individual comments, analyses, and recommendations. You can contact them at umf.planning.ideas@maine.edu.

Best,

Edward Serna

President

Dear UMF Community —

Since my last update two weeks ago, we’ve made further progress on our strategic plan, and many of you have been involved in giving us feedback. Thank you. 

We are still in Phase II — data collection and community engagement — of a four-phase plan, and our partners at BRG have been diligent in their efforts to gather as much feedback as possible. If you haven’t yet, we are asking that you set aside 10 minutes to complete this survey, which closes on Friday, October 16. It is imperative to the planning initiative that we are inclusive of the many voices across campus and our community. We want to hear from everyone. If you are so inclined, please feel free to share the survey with your own network of colleagues, alumni, and community members.

A quick by-the-numbers overview of what we’ve accomplished to date:

  • 45+ interviews with various stakeholders
  • 15+ meetings and presentations
  • 188 stakeholder survey responses
  • 142 student survey responses
  • 50+ feedback emails

BRG has also begun scheduling focus groups, three of which will be facilitated later this week for graduate and undergraduate students. If you raised your hand to take part in focus groups, BRG will be in touch with you in the near future. I’ll also be hosting two virtual town halls in November — Friday, November 6 and Wednesday, November 18 — where I hope to hear from staff and faculty on how they feel the strategic planning initiative is progressing.

As you’ve hopefully heard by now, BRG prides itself on transparency. It is a critical element of the process, and I encourage you to stay informed and engaged in an undertaking that is the key to UMF’s future via our Strategic Planning website. And, as always, if you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me, or our partners at BRG at umf.planning.ideas@maine.edu

Best,

Edward Serna

President

Dear UMF Community –

I write today with an update on the UMF strategic planning process. We’ve partnered with consultants at Berkeley Research Group (BRG) — a firm with vast higher education strategic planning experience — and are making progress towards a new plan for Farmington.

We are currently in Phase II of a four-phase plan, and on track for timely completion of the project slated for December. Phase II involves data collection and community engagement. BRG is actively soliciting feedback — through interviews, focus groups and surveys — from all members of the UMF community, including you, our community leaders and friends. A comparative analysis of our peer institutions is also underway, along with a thorough review of all previous planning efforts. You can find the full timeline and other details on our website here.

For the numbers folks out there, here is a breakdown of what we’ve accomplished with our partners at BRG since the strategic planning kick-off back in mid-August.

To date, UMF and BRG have:

  • Conducted a total of 32 interviews with cabinet members, faculty, staff, students, the Chancellor, University presidents, and trustees

  • Received more than 100+ emails from folks expressing an interest in focus groups participation

  • Hosted four kick-off presentations

  • Lead two Strategic Planning Steering Committee Meetings

  • Moderated two Strategic Planning Q&A Feedback sessions

  • Facilitated two community presentations

  • Collected 31 emails with input from faculty and staff

So, what’s next? This week we’ve launched surveys for staff, faculty, alumni, and community members. I encourage you to take the time to complete your survey which can be found here. Early next week, BRG and the Steering Committee will begin working to assemble and schedule focus groups. If you expressed interest, please keep an eye on your inbox. If you’d like to be considered for a focus group, please email BRG (umf.planning.ideas@maine.edu) as soon as possible.

Moving forward, I cannot stress enough the importance of candidness. Without your voice, this planning process will be ineffective. We have an opportunity to set Farmington’s future course and I urge you to engage in this process.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or our colleagues at BRG. BRG consultants can be reached at umf.planning.ideas@maine.edu. To maintain confidentiality, and promote candid conversations, all communications sent to this email address are being delivered directly to our partners at BRG.

I’ll be in touch as things progress.

Best,

Edward Serna

President

Good afternoon UMF Community —

There has been so much going on lately, and I know we’re all inundated with emails and reply alls, so I’ll keep this brief.

Back in January, I presented our plan to address the financial situation of the University so that it remains viable for many years to come. One key element of creating a sustainable future for UMF is the development of a new strategic plan. 

After months of vetting 15 proposals from firms across the country, we are excited to announce that we have selected Berkeley Research Group (BRG) to partner with us as we dive into this important work. Throughout the procurement process. BRG impressed us with their breadth of strategic planning experience and intimate knowledge of higher education.

We have an aggressive six-month schedule. The short timeline is due in part because the plan we develop must inform the FY22 budget. BRG is up to the challenge and I know UMF is too. 

In the coming weeks, we will be standing up a website and a broader communication plan for sharing our work. There will also be calls to campus and external constituents to serve on various subcommittees as the plans unfold.

Next week, BRG will begin the preliminary meetings with the President’s Advisory Council and present to the faculty at the faculty gathering. This is critical work and the turnaround time is tight, but we are excited to get moving on what will be a plan for progress at Farmington. 

We’ll be in touch with updates.

Best wishes,

Edward Sera

President


Contact Us

For questions, suggestions, or concerns please contact BRG at: umf.planning.ideas@maine.edu

To maintain confidentiality, and promote candid conversations, all communications sent to the email address above are being delivered directly to our partners at Berkeley Research Group (BRG).