State of the University 2022
University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan delivered his annual State of the University address to UMass students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners today via email and social media today.
In the speech, President Meehan praised the UMass community for its resilience throughout the two-year global pandemic, but also called on universities around the country to “ensure that the very democratic principles upon which we were founded are preserved for future generations.”
“Why is it important to remind ourselves of that now?” he said, while standing in the UMass Amherst student union, on a campus established during the Civil War. “Because never in my life, from my time as a student at UMass in the wake of the Vietnam War, through my 14 years serving in the United States Congress and 15 years in leadership at UMass, have I felt that Democracy was more threatened.”
- “The student experience on our campuses is currently as close to normal as it has been in over two years…We have emerged on sound financial footing.”
- “I’ve asked system and campus leadership to direct additional resources to student mental health, including expanding access to counseling and increasing well-being, mindfulness and peer support programming. And to support this effort, I’ve made student mental health a priority in our state budget request.”
- “All of our campuses are nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and for the sixth consecutive year we generated more than $600 million in research expenditures … $687 million to be exact. We are also becoming more diverse with forty percent of our undergraduates now students of color."
- “Last year, 1 in 5 bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state was from a UMass campus, and we launched UMass Global, which will expand online education opportunities for adult learners in the Commonwealth and beyond.”
- “While we expand opportunities for adult learners, we also want to create early college opportunities for Massachusetts high school students, which will lower the cost of college for them.”
- “We have had our greatest fundraising year in the history of the university. Just last fall, generous alumni and friends committed nearly $250 million through the three largest gifts in our history, including a $50 million gift to all five campuses by Rob and Donna Manning, and a $175 million gift from The Morningside Foundation to endow the UMass Chan Medical School.”
- “Our endowment now stands at $1.2 billion, a quarter of which directly supports financial aid for students."
- “The time to re-commit to the fundamental principles of democracy that undergirded our founding as a land-grant university is now. In doing so, I am encouraged and emboldened by UMass students.”