The University

Strategic Planning 2010-2025

To fulfill its mission as the student-centered urban public research university of the 21st century, the University of Massachusetts Boston works hard to provide a rich and engaging educational experience, and to expand and apply knowledge, for students and communities in its city and state, across the nation, and around the world. Meeting this challenge in an ever-changing world requires continuous, careful strategic planning.

The year 2010 saw the beginning of a new long-term planning process, which in fall 2011 culminated in an extensive report intended to guide the university’s growth through 2025. This report—prepared by the university’s Strategic Planning Implementation Design Team and titled Fulfilling the Promise—links the noble aspirations expressed by UMass Boston’s founders in the mid-1960s to a highly ambitious vision of the university’s future, marked by striking increases in student population, research activity, and global reach and reputation. The report begins as follows:

The year is 2025. At the University of Massachusetts Boston, a great public urban research university, we honor our origins as a teaching institution and our tradition of public service. At the same time, we have taken bold steps to grow in stature as a sophisticated research university, and to play a distinguished part on the global stage. We have become the university our founders destined us to be in their original statement of purpose: well equipped to provide opportunities truly “equal to the best.”

The complete text of Fulfilling the Promise is available here. What follows is a brief description of the process through which it was developed.

The Task Force

In March 2010, Chancellor J. Keith Motley convened a new Chancellor's Strategic Planning Task Force, chaired by Provost Winston Langley and composed of deeply experienced and broadly representative members of the university community. The chancellor asked this group to “explore strategies that will allow us to see the vast intellectual resources of our university brought to bear on a deeper and broader range of academic research and civic engagement, with an impact that will draw serious consideration from a broader array of prospective students from around the world” and offer “a richer educational experience than can be had even today.” These strategies should also help the university’s “superb research, teaching, and civic engagement…be better communicated, and then enhanced by attracting to our campus positive attention; excellent students, faculty, staff, and administrators; and greater resources.” Finally, the task force was charged with providing “a broad and inclusive outreach to the campus community and beyond where necessary.”

At the same time, the chancellor established committees to focus on a range of particular issues. Their work over the summer considered many challenges and opportunities, and yielded detailed and insightful reports to provide a foundation for subsequent work on the new strategic plan; the reports were posted on the university website. Information about the members and responsibilities of these groups, as well as their reports, can be found through the Committee Reports link.

An Ambitious Vision for 2025

The planners also produced a revised statement of the university's mission and values, as well as a new vision statement that reflects an evolution in the planning process and a considerable increase in its depth and reach. During late-summer discussions among members of the task force and the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team, the new plan’s term was extended to fifteen years (from the originally intended five) and the planning process was placed in the service of a vision of UMass Boston as an “increasingly sophisticated research university” that by 2025 will have achieved major advances in the size and composition of its student body, the amount of its research activity and funding, the reach of its influence, and the quality of its reputation.

Implementing the Vision

In October 2010, the chancellor and provost announced five major goals for the plan, to be pursued in ways that would enhance the university’s reach and stature while embodying the ideal of inclusive excellence. The goals were:

  • Advance student success and development.
  • Enrich and expand academic programs and research.
  • Improve the learning, teaching, and working environment.
  • Establish a financial resources model consistent with the university's vision statement.
  • Develop an infrastructure supportive of the preceding goals.

They also established an Implementation Design Team (or IDT) dedicated to identifying and recommending particular objectives that that new plan should include, as well as strategies for achieving those objectives. From fall 2010 through summer 2011 this team worked to establish the critical steps the university must take to realize its vision over the upcoming years, focusing in detail on the first five years.

University-wide outreach for reactions and feedback intensified in spring 2011, as IDT members spoke and listened at more than 30 campus events, including a Faculty Council open meeting and two open campus forums. At the same time, several workgroups, each addressing a particular area of concern, focused on gathering additional information, analyzing problems and proposing solutions. The reports of these workgroups were also posted on the university website, in April 2011. In August 2011, on the basis of the workgroup reports and feedback from the university community, the team completed its assignment, producing Fulfilling the Promise: A Blueprint for UMass Boston.

This report was then presented by Provost Langley to Chancellor Motley, who enthusiastically endorsed the report’s recommendations in a broadcast email. “When you read Fulfilling the Promise,” said the chancellor, “I think you will share the excitement I feel. To build the fine university we serve today, many, many members of our community have given the very best their minds and spirits could offer. Now, thanks to hard work in both the past and the present, wonderful possibilities for the future are open to us. To fulfill our own promise—and to provide our constituents with opportunities truly equal to the best—we will have to keep on working hard, and we will have to overcome not a few challenges. But I know that we can.”

Further information about the implementation design process, including the reports of the working groups, is available in the "Implementation Planning" area of this website.

Strategic Planning and New Campus Construction

UMass Boston’s strategic planning guides the evolution of its 25-year master plan to renew and redevelop the university’s campus, where new academic facilities, residence halls, green spaces, and roadways are envisioned and beginning to take shape. The master plan was based on the university’s 2007-2010 strategic plan, UMass Boston Renewal. The continuing evolution and implementation of the master plan will be guided by Fulfilling the Promise, the strategic plan for 2010-2025.