The University

New offices

I’m pleased to announce two welcome developments at the University of Massachusetts Boston that will advance our mission, values, and strategic priorities. They are the establishment of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Community Partnerships.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Last fall, UMass Boston hired its first chief diversity officer, a new position that I believe is essential to furthering our university’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion at every level. Since taking the position, Juan Nunez has done yeoman’s work in transforming the Office of Affirmative Action and Multicultural Affairs into the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which better reflects the university’s priorities.

The office is charged with strengthening UMass Boston's tradition of diversity by developing and implementing a strategic and integrated approach to advancing a university-wide climate that respects, values, and supports the academic, social, and personal development of diverse faculty, staff, and students. Its objectives include, among others, diversity education and outreach for our faculty and staff, and assessing our recruitment process to ensure equal access for minorities, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

I encourage you to learn more about the Office of Diversity and Inclusion by visiting its new website or by attending an open house on March 29, 1-3 p.m., in the Chancellor’s Conference Room.

Office of Community Partnerships
I am also pleased to announce a first step in establishing a new Office of Community Partnerships within the Division of Government Relations and Public Affairs. This office, an outgrowth of our 2007-2010 strategic plan, will strengthen the university’s commitment to community engagement.

Last month Luciano Ramos, formerly the associate director at Florida Campus Compact with extensive experience in fostering community engagement, joined UMass Boston as director of the new Office of Community Partnerships. In this role he will develop the new office to provide support to existing networks between the university and our communities, streamline the process of making new connections, and help to develop new relationships within and outside of the university.

I look forward to the progress that I know we will make in the areas of diversity and inclusion and in community engagement, and I hope you will join me in supporting and embracing the efforts of these new offices.

Have a wonderful long weekend.