University of Maine Interim President Robert Kennedy is currently engaged in an effort to boost enrollment from southern Maine.
Recently he has been traveling around the state to spread the word about the UMaine.
“[The University of Maine] is the flagship campus in the state of Maine. We are the primary school for research, graduate studies and educational development in the state system,” Kennedy said.
“We have done the least to get our message out in southern Maine, which is most important because of the population size and economic development.”
He said that making the UMaine appeal to the population in Southern Maine will make a great difference in the reputation of the university. Maine is most densely populated in the southern part of the state, and is more economically prosperous. Kennedy said he wants to show how the university can further the economic prosperity of the entire state through its programs.
“My philosophy upon taking the interim president role was to make sure we are carrying the message and happenings at the University of Maine statewide,” said Kennedy. “The school should be appreciated for what it does.”
The goal is to reach the tens of thousands of alumni who now live in southern Maine and are disconnected from UMaine. The trips that Kennedy are taking are not only aimed at continuing an increase in UMaine enrollment from the southern part of the state but to avoid losing those students to other state schools. Kennedy said his strategy seems to be working.
“Last year the number of students who attended the University of Maine from Cumberland and York counties alone increased by twenty percent,” Kennedy said.
These attempts have led to questions all over campus about the upcoming search for a new president at the end of the semester.
“I try as the interim president to do what I feel is right and what I feel needs to be done for the university,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy wouldn’t comment about the possibility of applying to be the next president of the University of Maine. Students will have to wait see if the “interim” part of his title will be dropped next year.
Kennedy said that the trips are for the benefit of the school and not for his resume. Today, he will travel to Caribou in an effort to keep Aroostook County attendance at the university on the rise.