UMass releases five-year campus strategic plan

‘We enter this period with a strong belief in our community’

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UMass releases five-year campus strategic plan

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Collegian

By Will Mallas, Assistant News Editor

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University of Massachusetts Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy released a five-year strategic plan on Feb. 7 which plans to create more access to career plans, increase the graduate student population and provide funds for more resources such as scholarships.

The plan is titled “Be Revolutionary: A Vision for the Future,” and spans from 2018 to 2023. According to the introduction of the plan, the University is creating a strategy in preparation for an eventual decline in college students due to low birth rates during the Great Recession.

To solve this problem, the University will seek to “maintain the remarkable momentum of the past few years” through attracting graduate students to the campus, and it will also implement a financial strategy that maintains “research, scholarship and creative activity.”

“We enter this period with a strong belief in our community and a redoubling of our commitment to the values that have sustained us for more than 150 years,” the introduction reads. “When this time of transition is over, we intend for the University of Massachusetts Amherst to be a national model for the very best of American higher education in a new era.”

Part of the goals of the strategic plan include establishing UMass as a “destination of choice” for academics around the world, as a source of innovation for society and as a place the exemplifies “the power of diverse perspectives and mutual respect.”

In order to reach these goals, the strategic plan provides action steps the University will attempt to take. One step includes supporting student success, where the University plans to integrate major requirements with general education requirements and out-of-classroom experiences.

The University will also look to expand career opportunities for students as it plans to “embed career and professional development opportunities throughout each student’s life at the university: map curricular, co-curricular, internship, employment, volunteer and other forms of experience onto career and professional advising.”

This process would also include connecting academic programs with career opportunities and increasing collaboration with alumni and employers to foster post-graduate opportunities for students.

The University will also seek to expand its role as a research institution through investing in on-campus research and collaborating with companies within the Greater Boston area.

Additionally, UMass plans to change its recruitment strategies to ensure a diverse student body and to “provide tools and training opportunities for all faculty and staff to become adept at working in a diverse and inclusive environment, whether inside or outside the classroom, with colleagues, and with the general public.”

In the resource planning section of the plan, the University outlines its investment plans to improve the resources needed to fulfill the strategic plan. Such investments include the launching of fundraising campaigns to raise money for scholarships and academic programs.

Such programs would be similar to the UMass Rising Campaign, a fundraising initiative that “mobilized more than 100,000 alumni and friends to raise $379 million” for the University, according to a letter from Michael A. Leto, the vice chancellor for development and alumni relations.

According to the resource planning section, the University also plans to improve the campus energy efficiency and to expand the University’s offerings for online courses.

In a letter sent out to UMass students, Subbaswamy expressed confidence in the plan.

“I thank everyone who contributed to the creation of our strategic plan and I am confident that, with its adoption, UMass Amherst will continue its unprecedented momentum,” he said. “We have achieved so much in recent years, and I am truly excited to build on our success.”

Will Mallas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @willmallas