The University

Mission & Values


The University of Massachusetts Boston is a public research university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement. Our vibrant, multi-cultural educational environment encourages our broadly diverse campus community to thrive and succeed. Our distinguished scholarship, dedicated teaching, and engaged public service are mutually reinforcing, creating new knowledge while serving the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world.


Inquiry, Creativity, and Discovery

The University of Massachusetts Boston is an educational institution dedicated to rigorous, open, critical inquiry—a gateway to intellectual discovery in all branches of knowledge, and a crucible for artistic expression. Our campus culture fosters imagination, creativity, and intellectual vitality. Responsive to the call of diverse disciplines, schools of thought, and public constituencies, we expect and welcome divergent views, honoring our shared commitment to expanding, creating, and disseminating knowledge. We celebrate our research culture, with its diversity of methods, commitments, and outcomes. We promote a culture of lifelong learning, and serve as a catalyst for intellectual interactions with scholarly communities, students, alumni, and the public.


Our work can transform the lives, careers, and social contexts of all members of our community. We seek to help our students to realize their potential in the pursuit of education. We support our students, faculty, and staff in their efforts to create knowledge, gain new understandings, and assume the responsibilities of leadership and civic participation.

Diversity and Inclusion

Our multi-faceted diversity is an educational asset for all members of our community. We value and provide a learning environment that nurtures respect for differences, excites curiosity, and embodies civility. Our campus culture encourages us all to negotiate variant perspectives and values, and to strive for open and frank encounters. In providing a supportive environment for the academic and social development of a broad array of students of all ages who represent many national and cultural origins, we seek to serve as a model for inclusive community-building.


As a campus community, we address critical social issues and contribute to the public good, both local and global. We participate in teaching and public service, as well as in basic, applied, and engaged research, to support the intellectual, scientific, cultural, artistic, social, political, and economic development of the communities we serve. We forge partnerships with communities, the private sector, government, health care organizations, other colleges and universities, and K-12 public education, and bring the intellectual, technical, and human resources of our faculty, staff, and students to bear on pressing economic and social needs.

Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

We seek to foster a consciousness of nature’s centrality to the human experience and our collective obligation to environmental sustainability. Since our founding, we have emphasized teaching, research, and service activities that promote environmental protection and nurture sustainability, strive for responsible stewardship and conservation of resources, and enhance the natural environment—not least the marine environment around our campus on Dorchester Bay and Boston Harbor.

Economic and Cultural Development

We make significant contributions to the cultural and economic life of a major American city and enhance the Commonwealth’s vital participation in the global community. We educate artists, writers, archivists, nurses, teachers, environmentalists, managers, scientists, scholars, and others whose lifelong efforts enrich the culture and environment of many communities. Through our research, teaching, and service, we work cooperatively with businesses and industries, and with local, state, and federal governments, to strengthen our contribution to the state’s, the nation’s, and the world’s cultural and economic development.

An Urban Commitment

Our work is marked by a particular commitment to urban places, people, culture, and issues, and by an acknowledgement of their complex local, national, and global connections. Our university is located in a great city—Boston—the Commonwealth’s capital and major population center. We are proud to provide an excellent and accessible university education, as well as highly informed research and service, to residents of Boston and other cities, regions, and countries. Partnering with urban institutions and residents, we help to create sustainable and healthy social fabrics, economies, service organizations, and civic and cultural institutions.  

*This is a revised statement that was completed in September 2010, in connection with the university’s strategic planning process for 2010-2015.