Maine’s public universities take historic step to unify their accreditations in the University of Maine System
Board unanimously endorses first-in-the-nation step to accredit all of Maine’s public universities together for how well they share public resources in service to students and the state
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a recommendation first brought forward by Chancellor Dannel Malloy last fall to transition the separate institutional accreditations of Maine’s public universities into a unified institutional accreditation for the University of Maine System through the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE). The transition to unified accreditation includes a commitment to maintaining Maine’s universities where they currently exist and offers expanded opportunities for them to share academic programs, resources, and practices to more effectively serve students in meeting the System’s public mission of teaching, research, and public service in Maine.
LD 2021 provides funding to ConnectME to fund broadband infrastructure
On January 28, 2020, a bill from Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, to invest in high-speed reliable internet received a public hearing before the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. The bill – LD 2021, An Act To Provide Funding for Broadband Internet Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Areas – would provide $15 million to ConnectME Authority.
Bill to change Maine’s OT standard will be taken up on February 12
Legislation submitted last session and carried over to this session by the Joint Standing Committee on Labor and Housing will get its first initial work session in committee on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Tipping (D-Orono), LD 402, An Act to Restore Overtime Protections to Maine Workers, proposes to increase the overtime threshold by $22,224 over a four-year period, finally landing at $55,224 by 2022. The threshold would then be indexed each year thereafter by the second quartile of usual weekly earnings for employed full-time wage and salary workers as published by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On January 27, Maine native and entrepreneur David Roux joined Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun to announce the formation of the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland. University of Maine System Trustee Gregory Johnson and University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy attended the announcement event of the Roux Institute at Northeastern University in Portland.
Academic leaders at the University of Maine have already begun collaboration discussions with colleagues at Northeastern University. University leaders offered the following statements welcoming the Roux Institute to Maine.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We have reprinted a Letter to the Editor from Megan Diver, senior government relations specialist for the Maine State Chamber and a member of ReadyNation, from Sunday, January 26 for your review and consideration. It also appears online at www.centralmaine.com/2020/01/26/bill-addresses-maines-child-care-crisis.
The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is pleased to read that Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson and Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s executive director Kim Lindlof identify Maine’s child care crisis as a barrier to workforce development. Lack of high-quality child care is a challenge we hear about often from businesses all across our state.
The Success for Rural Students and Communities Act aims to improve college access and post-secondary outcomes
Nationwide, rural students tend to graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers in urban districts, and at about the same rate as their suburban peers. Despite their relatively high graduation rates, rural high school students are less likely than their urban and suburban peers to pursue higher education. The majority of jobs that pay middle-class wages require an additional credential, but less than a third of rural adults hold an advanced degree. With the appropriate supports, more rural students can apply to, enroll in, and complete post-secondary education.