GoUBears t1_j9a69ze wrote

Under-investment in public universities is rampant in New England thanks to the Ivies, NESCAC, and other quality private institutions. However, Maine has the short end of that stick, with three small schools totaling ~6k, 85% from out of state. Hopefully that will prompt an administration to prioritize enhancing UMO and USM sooner than later.


GoUBears t1_j99tzi0 wrote

So long as UMO isn’t targeted for significant disinvestment (like a chain of events that ends in USM Gorham as the state’s flagship), I give Bangor a shot at a thriving future. They just have to properly utilize their proximity and aim to retain graduates in a way that they haven’t since…the 1950s? A shrinking pool of low-budget, long-distance shoppers isn’t even close to a recipe for maintaining the status quo if the university withers.

While not a perfect comparison, I’d point to Macomb, Illinois, as a cautionary tale that’s currently unfolding. It has a smaller regional population base than Bangor, but it’s almost as isolated. It’s at the center of the Quad Cities, Peoria, and Springfield, each about 90 minutes away, and there’s only one slightly larger town in over three hours to its west. The state’s decision to shrink WIU’s budget was the equivalent of stating that they shouldn’t even be a blip on the map, and has already cost the area a third of its non-student population in the span of about six years. Needless to say, they’re still in free fall, with no end in sight, particularly if the free fall triggers a further reduction in WIU’s budget, which would likely be focused on their graduate schools, which have remained relatively unscathed so far.