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On Nov. 11, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) named President Joan Ferrini-Mundy to their 28-member Board of Directors for 2021. Ferrini-Mundy has served as president of the University of Maine since 2018. This nomination is just the latest of many honors Ferrini-Mundy has received since taking on the role. 

The APLU conducts research, creates policy and works as an education advocate for public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

“APLU’s mission is to: expand access and improve student success to deliver the innovative workforce of tomorrow; advance and promote research and discovery to improve society, foster economic growth and address global challenges; and build healthy, prosperous, equitable and vibrant communities locally and globally,” according to APLU’s website.

Many parallels can be drawn between the APLU’s mission and that of Maine which includes advancing “learning and discovery through excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate academic programs while addressing the complex challenges and opportunities of the 21st century through research-based knowledge,” according to the UMaine website. 

Kimberly Whitehead, UMaine vice president and chief of staff commented on how UMaine, and most importantly the student body, might benefit from this honor.

“The appointment of President Ferrini-Mundy to the APLU board recognizes her national leadership on multiple levels, including STEM education and the role of public higher education to change lives through learning, research and community engagement. All members of the UMaine community, including students, and, indeed, the state this university serves, benefit from having President Ferrini-Mundy joining other national thought leaders to share current perspectives, best practices and vision for the future that then informs their campuses,” Whitehead stated. Our state of Maine and our university will now have a seat at a very influential table in the realm of public higher education. 

As a member of the Board of Directors, Ferrini-Mundy will work with other board members to set internal policies for the APLU, as well as work to improve public higher education. The APLU even fights to advance public universities at the federal level through their work with Congress, the administration and the media