Morning Wood: If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em: UMass’ path to becoming a top 10 university

It would be the investment of a lifetime


(Big Bootith/Morning Wood)

By Nick Zakhon, The only opinion that matters

All year long, the University of Massachusetts administration has been pushing the idea that our school deserves a place in the list of our country’s top 10 public universities. After skyrocketing to the No. 26 seed, UMass proved to the world that we should be taken seriously. However, despite our incomparable academics, high-caliber athletics (but mostly just hockey) and above-average-looking student body, earning a place in the top 10 will be difficult to say the least. That’s why we shouldn’t earn our way in, we should buy it.

Last year, UMass announced that it would be buying out Mount Ida, a decision that proved to be wildly successful and well-regarded. It was the start of UMass’ great empire, providing a way for former Mount Ida students to upgrade their degree to a UMass one, and spreading Minutemen pride all the way into Eastern Massachusetts. While no official decision has been released, it is probable that UMass will also buy out Hampshire College, one of the members of the Five College Consortium. Earlier this year, Hampshire announced its financial dilemma and expressed interest in a financial deal with UMass. Although the two schools claim that Hampshire is now seeking other partners, we all know that UMass will one day claim what it rightfully deserves. When this partnership finally does form, both schools will benefit in a beautiful symbiotic relationship.

So why should the UMass empire stop in Massachusetts? Buying out one of the country’s top universities will help to expand our ever-growing campus, and it will guarantee us a spot in the coveted top 10 list. There are 25 schools that are supposedly “better” than us, among them the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Any of these schools could be great options for potential new real estate, but I believe that UMass should set its eyes straight on number one. Currently, the University of California, Los Angeles is considered the best public university in the country. If Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and the rest of the UMass administration is serious about our school’s upward mobility, they should seriously look into taking action to buy UCLA. Picture this: a coast-to-coast regime of Minutemen, spreading Subbaswamy’s message of dignity and respect from sea to shining sea. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, at University of California, Los Angeles has a nice ring to it. Besides, maroon would look better on UCLA than its current blue and gold.

Obviously, the price tag on our Princeton Review title is going to be pretty steep, but don’t worry, because UMass will definitely be able to pay for it. Of the top 10 highest paid Massachusetts state employees of 2018, all of them were UMass employees, including the men’s basketball coach, the former football coach and none other than Subbaswamy himself. And if the construction all around campus didn’t make it clear, UMass has a few million lying around to spend on updating the Student Union and Worcester Dining Commons. So let’s put this money toward something other than Isenberg noodle bowls and a renovated football stadium! Buying our way into the top 10 would be the investment of a lifetime. Minutemen and Minutewomen around the country would be able to say that they attended the satellite campus of the flagship of the nation’s top public university for generations.

The Militia is headed straight for the top, in whatever way possible. Our administration’s goals have merit to them, but in order to make these dreams a reality, we need to demand immediate financial action. Once we have bought our way into the list of top public universities, we can aim our sights on bigger, better lists. Why shouldn’t UMass be at the top of the Ivy League?

And of course, if all else fails, UMass will always hold its place at the top of the only list that actually matters. At the very least, we still have No. 1 Dining.

Nick Zakhon is currently failing Econ 101. He can be found on the 23rd floor of the library watching the sun rise and envisioning that everything the light touches will one day be UMass territory.