University of Massachusetts System

This article is about the statewide university system. For the flagship campus often referred to as "UMass", see University of Massachusetts Amherst. For other uses, see University of Massachusetts (disambiguation).
For university chartered in 1917 under this name, see Middlesex University (Massachusetts).
University of Massachusetts
Established 1863
Type Public university
University system
Endowment $527 million
President Robert L. Caret
Admin. staff 17,607[1]
Students 68,315[1]
Location Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Campus Amherst (Flagship Campus)
Medical School (Worcester)
Nickname UMass

The University of Massachusetts is the five-campus public university system of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The system includes four universities and a medical school. Across its campuses, the University of Massachusetts enrolls about 71,000 students.[2]

The UMass system was ranked 56th in the world in 2010 by the Times World University Rankings.[3] It was also ranked as the 19th best university in the world in the Times of London's 2011 World Reputation Rankings. In 2012, the state of Massachusetts introduced $607 million in new bond funding to advance high-quality instructional and research facility projects throughout the UMass system.[4][5]


The University of Massachusetts Amherst, located in Amherst, is the flagship and largest school in the UMass system. It was also the first one established, dating back to 1863, when it was founded as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, located in Dartmouth, is next-oldest school in the system. It was founded in 1962 with the merger of New Bedford Textile School in New Bedford and the Bradford Durfee Textile School in Fall River. The University of Massachusetts Boston, located in Boston, is third-oldest school in the system. Originally established in 1964, it was merged with Boston State College in 1982. The University of Massachusetts Lowell, located in Lowell, was founded in 1991 when the University of Lowell became part of the UMass system. It had its previous origins in the Lowell Normal School and the Lowell Textile School which were founded in the 1890s. The final school in the system is the University of Massachusetts Medical School which was founded in 1962 and is located in Worcester, Massachusetts.

UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is the flagship and the largest of the UMass campuses, as well as the first established. Like many colleges and universities, Massachusetts Agricultural College (as it was originally called) the Amherst campus was founded as a land-grant college in 1863, receiving initial start-up funding as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. It became Massachusetts State College in 1931, and University of Massachusetts in 1947. The library system is the largest state-supported library system in New England with over 6.1 million items. The campus has many architecturally distinctive buildings commissioned by the Commonwealth and designed by world-renowned architects.

UMass Amherst offers a variety of academic and co-curricular options. Ninety-three percent of the 1,174 full-time faculty members hold the highest degree in their fields. The average SAT score (reading and math only) for the 2011 entering class is 1220, and the average GPA is 3.6 on a 4.0 scale. The campus has 21,373 undergraduates and offers 86 bachelor’s degree programs. There is a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. The UMass Amherst honors college is called Commonwealth College where admission is more competitive with an average SAT score of 1390.[6]

Students participate in 240 campus organizations, 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams, living-learning residence halls, community service, internships, and faculty research. UMass Amherst is also part of the Five Colleges consortium, with Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and Amherst colleges, all within a free bus ride of each other using the Pioneer Valley Transit System. Students can take classes on any of these campuses and participate in all co-curricular and cultural activities.[6] Kumble R. Subbaswamy serves as UMass Amherst's chancellor.[7]

UMass Lowell

Located in the Merrimack Valley Region, UMass Lowell started in 1894 as the Lowell Normal School (South Campus) and in 1895 as the Lowell Textile School (North Campus).

UMass Lowell is a comprehensive University with a national reputation in science, engineering, Management and technology, and committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region.

UMass Lowell is located in the Merrimack Valley, close to Boston, ocean beaches, and the mountains of New Hampshire. With a national reputation for education and research in science, engineering, and technology, the campus offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs. Academic programs include internships, co-ops, service learning, and international education.[8]

UMass Lowell has a total of 16,969[9] students as of fall 2013. The campus offers over 120 fully accredited programs taught by 737 faculty members in five colleges. Most of the 75 bachelor’s degree programs offer five-year Bachelor’s to Master’s programs. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1 and half of the undergraduate classes have fewer than 20 students. Ninety-three percent of the full-time faculty members hold the highest degree in their fields.[8]

There are 12 University residence halls located on the campus. There are more than 120 active student organizations on campus, a campus recreation center, 16 NCAA Division I sports teams that compete in the America East Conference, and the ice hockey team that competes in the Hockey East Conference.

Martin T. Meehan, J.D., is the chancellor of the UMass Lowell campus.[10]

UMass Boston

UMass Boston is a research university[11] located in the City of Boston. Located on the Columbia Point peninsula, the University is surrounded by the Boston Harbor, the John F. Kennedy Library and the Massachusetts State Archives. The Boston Globe is also headquartered adjacent to campus, as well as Boston College High School Subsequently, the university holds many partnerships with its neighboring organizations, providing research and employment opportunities.

UMass Boston is known for its growing and diverse student body of more than 11,000 undergraduates and nearly 4,000 graduate students, making it the third largest campus in the system.[12] The University has five undergraduate colleges and two graduate colleges, with over 100 undergraduate programs and 50 graduate programs. Ninety-three percent of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their fields.[13]

The campus is home to more than 100 student organizations — including clubs, literary magazines, newspaper, radio station, art gallery, and 16 NCAA Division III sports teams.[13] Chancellor J. Keith Motley, Ph.D., is the chancellor of the UMass Boston campus.[14]

UMass Dartmouth

Located in southeastern Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth started in 1895 as the New Bedford Textile School, the Bradford Durfee Textile School and later Southeastern Massachusetts University.(SMU) UMass Dartmouth offers a wide array of programs in accounting, finance, management information systems, operations management and marketing, all of which are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. UMass Dartmouth has top ranking engineering and nursing programs.

In addition to the 710-acre (2.9 km2) UMass Dartmouth main campus is, satellite campuses are located throughout the SouthCoast.[15]

With 7,982 undergraduate students and 65 degree programs, the campus has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1 in its College of Arts & Sciences; Charlton College of Business; College of Engineering; College of Nursing; College of Visual and Performing Arts; School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement; and the School for Marine Science and Technology. The University hosts internships, undergraduate research opportunities, and service learning experiences, as well as an Honors Program.[15]

More than 100 student organizations and 25 NCAA Division III athletic teams provide a strong community beyond the classroom. UMass Dartmouth is among the fastest growing campuses in New England.[15] The campus is home to the only complete building system designed by renowned brutalist architect Paul Rudolph. Divina Grossman is the Chancellor of the UMass Dartmouth campus.[16][17]

UMass Worcester

The University of Massachusetts Worcester, also known as UMass Medical School, is one of the fastest growing academic health science centers in the country and is home to the School of Medicine (SOM) — the Commonwealth’s only public medical school — the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), the Graduate School of Nursing (GSN), and a research enterprise that attracts more than $200 million in external funding annually.[18]

Located in the heart of Central Massachusetts on a 63-acre (250,000 m2) campus it shares with clinical partner UMass Memorial Health Care, the region’s premier health care delivery system and largest employer, UMass Medical consistently ranks among the top ten percent in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of best medical schools.[18]

The work of UMass Medical researcher and 2006 Nobel Prize winner Craig Mello, Ph.D., an investigator of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute, toward the discovery of RNA interference has launched a promising new field of research. The school is also the future home of the Albert Sherman Center, an interdisciplinary, research and education facility that will foster collaboration among scientists and innovation across disciplines.[18] Michael F. Collins, MD, FACP is the chancellor of the UMass Medical School campus.[19]

University President

The University of Massachusetts is also governed by a lay Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees functions as a legislative body dealing mainly with questions of policy. The Board establishes the general policies governing the University, but has delegated many powers to the President and, through the President, to campus administrators for day-to-day-operations.

Robert L. Caret was elected President of the five-campus, 68,000-student University of Massachusetts system on January 13, 2011.[20][21]


Below is a list of Presidents of the University of Massachusetts.

President Tenure[22]
Henry F. French 1864–66
Paul A. Chadbourne 1866–67 and 1882–83
William S. Clark 1867–79
Charles L. Flint 1879–80
Levi Stockbridge 1876 and 1880–82
James C. Greenough 1883–86
Henry H. Goodell 1883 and 1886–1905
William P. Brooks 1905–06
Kenyon L. Butterfield 1906–24
Edward M. Lewis 1924–27
Roscoe W. Thatcher 1927–32
Hugh P. Baker 1933–47
Ralph A. Van Meter 1947–54
Jean Paul Mather 1954–60
John W. Lederle 1960–70
Robert C. Wood 1970–77
Franklin K. Patterson 1978
David C. Knapp 1978–1990
Joseph D. Duffey 1990–1991
E K. Fretwell 1991–1992
Michael K. Hooker 1992–95
Sherry H. Penney 1995–96
William M. Bulger 1996–2003
Jack M. Wilson 2003–2011
Robert L. Caret 2011-

Board of Trustees

The University of Massachusetts is governed by a lay Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees functions as a legislative body dealing mainly with questions of policy. The Board is not an administrative or management board. In certain rare instances when required by the Massachusetts General Laws, it may function as an appeal body. The Board establishes the general policies governing the University, but has delegated many powers to the President and, through the President, to campus administrators for day-to-day-operations.

Composition of the Board

The founding Board had fourteen appointed members and four ex officio members. Formerly, Trustees were appointed by the Legislature or the Board itself; currently, members are appointed by the Governor. The size of the Board has fluctuated between twelve and twenty-four members. The current Board is composed of nineteen voting members and three ex officio non-voting members. Seventeen Board members are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth; at least five of those appointed must be alumni of the University and one must be a representative of organized labor. The other two voting members are students. Overall, the board has five student members, elected for one-year terms, from the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses. Voting membership rotates among the campuses: two students are voting members and three others are ex officio non-voting members.

Current Board


James J. Karam, Chairman, Tiverton, RI, Exp. 2013

Ruben J. King-Shaw, Jr., Vice Chair, Carlisle, MA, Exp. 2015

Henry M. Thomas, III, J.D., Vice Chair, Springfield, MA, Exp. 2012

Richard P. Campbell, J.D., Boston, MA, Exp. 2016

Lawrence M. Carpman, Marshfield, MA, Exp. 2016

Edward W. Collins, Jr., Springfield, MA, Exp. 2012

John A. DiBiaggio, D.D.S., Snowmass Village, Colorado, Exp. 2013

Maria D. Furman, Wellesley, MA, Exp. 2014

Zoila M. Gomez, J.D., Lawrence, MA, Exp. 2016

Philip W. Johnston, Marshfield, MA, Exp. 2012

Alyce J. Lee, Milton, MA, Exp. 2016

Jeffrey B. Mullan, J.D., Milton, MA, Exp. 2016

Kerri Osterhaus-Houle, M.D., Hudson, MA, Exp. 2013

R. Norman Peters, J.D., Paxton, MA, Exp. 2014

S. Paul Reville, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worcester, MA

Victor Woolridge, Springfield, MA, Exp. 2014

Margaret D. Xifaras, J.D., Marion, MA, Exp. 2016

Barbara F. DeVico (Secretary to the Board of Trustees)[23]

Student Trustees

  • Christina Kennedy, UMass Amherst (Non-Voting Student)
  • Bianca L. Baldassarre, UMass Boston (Non-Voting Student)
  • Peter T. Schock, UMass Dartmouth (Voting Student)
  • James A. Tarr, UMass Lowell (Voting Student)
  • Cara Weismann, UMass Medical (Non-Voting Student)[23]



The original UMass Amherst mascot was the Redmen. Because this name had the potential to offend Native American groups, the mascot was changed in the 1970s to the Minutemen.[25] For the same reason the UMass Lowell mascot was changed from the Chiefs to the River Hawks in the mid-1990s.[26]


External links

  • Official website
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