College & University Presidents’ Summit

on Climate Change and Higher Education

1:00 to 3:00 pm, March 12, Augusta Civic Center. 

Join the Presidents of six Maine colleges and universities as they discuss how the State of Maine should move forward on climate mitigation and adaptation in relation to higher education.


Presidents participating in the Panel:

1. Darron Collins (President, College of the Atlantic)

2. Paul Ferguson (President, University of Maine, Orono).

3. Kathryn Foster, (President, University of Maine, Farmington)

4. Rick Hopper (President, Kennebec Valley Community College)

5. Laurie Lachance (President, Thomas College)

6. Stephen Mulkey (President, Unity College)


1:00-1:15  Arrive, greet, and get organized

1:15-2:15  Panelists present their perspectives, 8-10 minutes each

2:15-2:45  Discussion and questions from the moderators; one or two questions each from Collins and Mulkey

2:45-3:00  Consideration of written questions from the audience

Discussion and interaction with audience:  Audience members will be given cards to write down questions for the panel.  These cards will be collected after the initial presentations.   The audience will be advised to frame their engagement in the form of a question and to avoid commentary.

Product:   The Leaders will produce a final slate of recommendations.  This will be delivered no more than two weeks after the summit.  Presidents Collins and Mulkey will be responsible for preparing a draft for approval by the group of Presidents.

Questions for Panel Participants to Consider:

  • What is your view of the current state of programming in higher education in Maine to prepare students to face the climate change and sustainability challenges of the coming decades?
  • What is missing from our current programming related to mitigation and adaptation?  Are our curricula comprehensive with respect to preparing our students to address the unfolding changes?
  • What is the relative importance of sustainability principles (i.e., mitigation, adaptation, and resilience) in the respective domains of curriculum, operations, and administration in higher education?  Which of these areas needs the most attention?
  • What needs to be done to focus the Maine public on the importance of higher education in Maine’s response to climate change?  How do we frame this aspect of our mission so that it resonates with public perceptions of the economy and personal wellbeing?
  • What are the roles of the Maine Legislature and Executive branch with respect to provisioning higher education to be effective with respect to climate change?
  • Is higher education focus on mitigation, adaptation, and resilience consistent with post-graduate success?