AUGUSTA — University of Maine at Augusta President Rebecca Wyke on Monday announced a new community engagement plan designed to refine the school’s mission.

Wyke, who replaced James Conneely as president in July, said the plan will allow the institution to better define its collective vision for the future and align its limited resources behind the strategies that will help the school be most successful in fulfilling its vision.

“I think most people are happy with the general vision and strategic plan, and this will help to refine it,” Wyke said in an interview last week.

The strategic plan announced in 2015 included three strategies — improve retention by strengthening student success, advance academics and cultivate reputation and resources — designed to support UMA in achieving its long-term strategic goals. The community engagement plan will include open forums, surveys and round-table discussions.

“We’ve seeded a number of questions to get people thinking of what this would look like in 2020 and how we can get there,” Wyke said of the strategic plan, which is for 2016-2020. “Then we’ll know together that we’ll have a consensus on how we’re moving forward.”

Wyke was the interim president for six months in 2015 before Conneely was hired at the end of that year, and she’s the fourth president since Allyson Handley left the school in September 2015 to take a job in California.

Without stability in the school’s top leadership position, having one vision has been a challenge, but Wyke hopes this new plan engages everyone in the UMA community and that everyone feels like they’ve had a voice. The institution has dubbed the plan “Vision 2.0.” “This community knows its students and its programs, and they have to be a part of the process,” she said. “We spent several weeks (planning) and making sure we included everybody.”

Wyke requested recognized sectors of the UMA community — the senior administration, the Faculty Senate, the Professional Employees Assembly, the Classified Employees Assembly, the Student General Assembly and the Board of Visitors — to participate by responding to questions and recommending proposed revisions to the strategic plan and accompanying strategies. They’ll be asked to engage in their own process before the groups come together.

“I hope our external community at UMA will feel like they’ve been invited to be a part of this process,” Wyke said.

Following forums to introduce the plan, there will be round-table discussions on both the Augusta and Bangor campuses in October followed by an online survey. A second set of open forums will offer feedback on what was heard during the engagement process and to share the draft of the revised vision, plan and strategies.

There will be a second survey about the draft plan before final recommendations from each UMA sector are made to Wyke no later than Nov. 20; the president’s cabinet will then review the final recommendations. The website outlining the process states the final plan will be revealed Dec. 8.

“It’s an ambitious cycle to get through because there’s a lot to do,” Wyke said.

Wyke said she thinks there was good work done three years ago to create the vision and strategic plan, which is why she’s calling this project a re-grounding and refining effort and not an effort to come up with something completely new.

“I think we can refine it, and it can be more reflective of where we are today with our current thinking,” she said.

Wyke said throughout her career in higher education, she’s learned that the more people engaged, the better the end result will be. She said she never goes into a situation without having something in mind, but she’s not going to say what it is at this point.

“I want the community to feel free to come together, and I want to support them in that process,” she said.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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