Strategic Plan by XP3pjet8


									                                   UMass Lowell 2020
                                 Draft Recommendations
                                        July 2009

The following are the reports from the nine committees working on different aspects of
UMass Lowell 2020, the strategic planning project currently underway. Each committee,
at a retreat meeting in June, presented these reports which include a recap of their
original charge, the approach they took to the process and background information they
developed or accessed to draft recommendations. Each committee had been asked to come
up with no more than 10 recommendations and presented in priority order.

For more information about the project, the process and the committee memberships, go to

You are invited to look over these recommendations and make comment. Remember that
will be further developed, with benchmarks added, over the fall semester. Also, meetings
open to the entire campus community will be held in the fall for presentation and

Send your comments to and they will be forwarded to all the
relevant parties.

Committee on Branding and Marketing
Co-Chairs Patti McCafferty and Gary Mucica

The Branding and Marketing Committee was charged with establishing a strategy to
strengthen the University’s image and boost its recognition quotient. The Committee was
asked to determine the current image of the campus and identify the key strengths and
qualities that distinguish it from other colleges. This information will serve as the basis
for building a consistent and effective messaging and branding program as well as
informing marketing activities overall. As part of its charge, the Committee was asked to
identify the strengths and weaknesses of current marketing activities in order to enhance
those efforts.

Over the past four months, several meetings were held. After some initial brainstorming
about audiences, campus goals and current messages, as well as a look at existing data,
the Committee broke into two subcommittees, one to focus on establishing a plan to come
up with overarching messages to brand the campus, the other to focus on how to best
deliver the messages. A review of existing data about the campus’s image was conducted,
including an overview of current marketing undertaken by Public Affairs, Athletics and
Continuing Studies, Corporate and Distance Education. Additionally, each committee
member surveyed colleagues in his/her department or college.
Image Analysis: The Campus
While several characteristics of the campus emerged as clear strengths or weaknesses,
other characteristics showed up in both categories. This is significant because it is a
reflection of the size and complexity of the campus, the range of perceptions about any one
characteristic and differences in opinion about priorities.

In addition, marketing UMass Lowell involves several target audiences, from prospective
to current students (graduate, undergraduate, continuing and online); alumni; donors;
corporate, government, and community leaders; the media; members of the UMass system;
opinion leaders in higher education; and more. Which characteristics are important to
which audiences? How do the different audiences feel about any one characteristic of the
campus? To which audiences should the campus tailor overarching messages?

Also, the campus’s history – merging from two institutions which operated separately for
over 80 years before becoming part of the UMass system in 1991– also complicates
perceptions about UMass Lowell by both internal and external audiences. What are the
core mission, values and character of UMass Lowell? What should they be? The answer,
still, is: it depends who is asked.

These complexities sparked discussion about whether the current image of the campus
and the development of messages can be determined solely by members of the campus
community, who are unlikely to see the campus in a clear, objective light.

Some strengths and weaknesses emerged, as noted in the following section, along with a
list of those characteristics that found their way into both columns and why.

      The quality of many academic programs is high and well known.
      The comprehensive nature of the campus provides many offerings and opportunities
       for students.
      Campus life is becoming more vibrant. Students attend athletic events in greater
       numbers, the number of students living on campus is increasing and there are more
       and better activities going on throughout the academic year.
      Tuition and fees, combined with the quality of offerings, make a UMass Lowell
       education a good value.
      Membership in the UMass system helps with name recognition and credibility.
      The mid-sized University offers the resources of a large institution and the comforts
       of a small one.
      Ethnic, cultural and age diversity among the student population is a plus.
      Winning athletics teams boost name recognition for the University as a whole. As
       teams have become more successful, especially with the Division 1 ice hockey team
       playing in Hockey East, the campus image has benefitted.
      There are improved facilities across the campus. The Campus Recreation Center is
       one example, but other improvements are more subtle – high tech classrooms,

      individual labs and cutting edge equipment like the Nursing Simulation Laboratory
      with SIMman.

     An urban campus in the City of Lowell is still perceived to be a negative.
     Some believe the University’s only strong programs are in engineering and science,
      possibly because of their status over the last 100 years in the community and
      regional industry.
     UMass Lowell is still seen as a safety school.
     Some aspects of campus life are not appealing. The perceived lack of weekend
      activities, lack of a late-night venue for socializing and eating, and lack of shared
      study/team project spaces are frequently noted by students.
     There has not been a new academic building on campus in more than 30 years,
      resulting in older buildings that suffer from “deferred maintenance” due to funding
     The campus needs to increase its ethnic and cultural diversity (which is under-
      represented in some groups) among faculty, staff and students.
     Despite being a public university, only one-third of UMass Lowell’s budget comes
      from the state.

SWOT Analysis: Current Marketing Efforts
     Quality of and cohesiveness of printed materials, banners and other professionally
      produced marketing materials – from Fox Hall signage to the view book to the staff
      phone book
     The website is well designed and functional with successful integration of all first-
      level Web pages into the content management system for a consistent look. A pilot
      project in search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising is underway.
     Marketing is expanding into new media: blogging, video on web, Facebook,
      YouTube, Twitter, etc.
     Partnering between Public Affairs and CSCDE on billboards has resulted in
      improved visibility for CSCDE and University-wide programs than either entity
      could have attained separately.
     More marketing campaigns, such as “Gotta Be Here,” are being conducted as
      partnerships among Public Affairs and other offices, such as Student Affairs,
      Admissions and Athletics.
     The University has produced more advertising, primarily radio and print,
      particularly before important events or key recruitment periods.
     The UMass system marketing, particularly TV advertising, helps the campus.

     Marketing data are needed (focus groups, market research) to build a more
      effective, data-driven marketing strategy.
     Lack of a consistent message or set of messages
     All members of the campus community need to consider themselves
      advocates/representatives of the campus among all audiences.
    There is a need for consistent budgeting to plan multi-year strategies and hit bigger
     ticket items, such as advertising.
   All communications to outside audiences should adhere to centrally controlled
   Better communications with internal audiences would enhance overall marketing.
   Perception that UMass Lowell is a branch or satellite campus to Amherst
   Lack of sufficient maps/directions/signs on and off campus
      Funding for marketing is better and more consistent.
      Marketing is a growing administrative priority.
      Marketing is more centralized on campus than in the past, allowing for more
       effective strategy and programs.
      The creation this year of the graphic identity standards guide will help brand the
      Leverage television advertising produced by the President’s Office.

      The troubled economy, coupled with declining high school graduation rates, poses
       risks for state budget funding, fundraising and recruitment.
      Ramped up competition from other institutions threatens to erode traditional
       student pool.

Recommendations (All of which could begin or continue in FY10.)
   1. Develop a marketing and branding strategy across all programs and departments to
      communicate a clear, concise image of UMass Lowell to all audiences. This strategy
      should be based on market research, including data such as focus groups and web
      surveys. Messages should be developed along with a strategic plan for delivery.
   2. Ensure that faculty and staff members recognize their responsibility to know the
      campus’s messages and deliver them consistently. As the brand strategy is
      developed, the internal audience should be familiar with the messages and
      understand the importance of helping to deliver them.
   3. Electronic communications have become critical to message delivery. The
      University’s website should be enhanced with a redesign and a new content
      management system, along with more Web 2.0 features such as audio, video and
      blogging. Message delivery should be expanded in new media platforms such as
      Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
   4. The campus must project a consistent look in its promotional materials, including
      appropriate use of the University and Riverhawk logos. The new identity standards
      guide established this year needs to be implemented across campus. All
      departments and offices should be equipped with materials needed for successful
   5. Develop strategies that will help raise the University’s profile and improve its
      rankings in U.S. News and World Report and elsewhere. This effort may include
      marketing specific on-going or new academic programs, recruitment of high caliber
      students and faculty, and consistent outreach to key constituencies. This campaign
      would dovetail with other efforts to improve the University’s image overall.
   6. Messages about UMass Lowell should be delivered on a regular basis to diverse
       national and international audiences. Increasingly, it is important to develop
       international partnerships and to attract students, faculty and staff from across the
       nation and around the world to remain a campus relevant to the global
       marketplace. All marketing materials should reflect diversity in their content.
   7. Expand high-visibility advertising such as billboards, television, radio and targeted
       publications. Use of these message delivery systems in the past year has been
       successful. They should be coordinated with development of the brand strategy.
   8. Increase positive attention to the campus through a continued aggressive media
       relations program to reach print, broadcast and web-based media. Without
       decreasing attention to local media, strategies for attracting high profile or national
       media such as The Chronicle of Higher Education and others should be developed
       and implemented.
   9. Signature events such as Commencement, the Chancellor’s Inauguration and major
       fundraisers can be used to draw positive attention to the University and assist in
       image-building. Bringing in compelling speakers or guests, garnering media
       attention, highlighting large donors and attracting a wider range of attendees
       should result in more awareness of the campus and its messages.
   10. Expand outreach to those who mentor and assist prospective students in decision-
       making. Prospective students look to parents, teachers, guidance counselors and
       other adults to help make a college choice. The University must be more targeted
       and aggressive in getting out communications to those audiences.

Committee on Corporate Partnerships and Urban Engagement
Co-Chairs: Steve Tello and Oneida Blagg

The charge to this Committee is to identify ways to strengthen our engagement with the
community, which includes corporations, nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools, and
municipalities. An assessment of current and proposed activities would include an
analysis of how they contribute to the campus mission “to enhance the intellectual,
personal and cultural development of its students through excellent, affordable
educational programs. The University seeks to meet the needs of the Commonwealth
today and into the future and supports the development of sustainable technologies and
communities through its teaching, research, scholarship and engagement.”

The committee’s approach included a number of small and large group, facilitator-led
activities to address the questions indicated in the charge to the committee. These
questions focused on the reasons the University develops partnerships/engagements, the
types, benefits, costs, relation to the mission, and criteria for assessing partnerships as
well as the structure needed to support partnerships. A sample of constituent groups,
associated benefits and costs, used as a working document in by our committee, is
included in Appendix A.

Early in this process it became clear to the committee that those external groups or
constituents involved with partnerships and engagement fell into two categories, those
providing services or opportunities to University constituents and those served by various

University constituents (it should be noted that these are not exclusive categories and, in
fact, the richness of partnerships is realized in mutually beneficial engagements). This led
to a discussion of why the University seeks partnerships and engagements and why
constituents may seek the same from the University. The reason for these partnerships
covered a wide range including but not limited to access to knowledge, access to resources,
benefits to society and enhancing faculty scholarship. Other interesting distinctions also
emerged: Some partnerships/engagement are sustainable, some are not. Others may be
more collaborative in nature, involving a “quid pro quo” exchange of services and ideas,
while others may consist solely of the provision of services to an external entity. The
committee felt very strongly that the concept of “benefits” should be interpreted broadly,
based on the needs and abilities of both constituent groups and the University and that
benefits manifest in both tangible ways (e.g., money, services) and intangible ways (e.g.,
public relations, goodwill, future opportunities). The consensus was that both types of
benefits were of equal value to the University as a whole. Similarly then, “costs” also
referred to as challenges, were described in both quantifiable terms (e.g., lab space,
staffing, expenses) as well as less tangible but still real terms (e.g., individual impact on
tenure/promotion, opportunity costs). Finally, in relation to the University’s mission
statement, the committee then linked the identified activities to corresponding portions of
the mission statement, using each of the main components of the mission statements as
indicators in Appendix A.


   I. Embrace “Partnerships and Engagement” as a central theme of academic and
      scholarly activity at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
         a. Develop a definition of “community-engaged scholarship” that acknowledges
            the range of teaching and research activities across disciplines that involve
            corporate and community partnerships.

         b. Articulate the value of “community-engaged scholarship” activities to the
            University and incorporate a value for these activities into promotion and
            tenure decisions.

         c. Develop a model to ensure that all UMass Lowell undergraduate students
            participate in multiple community-engaged learning experiences during their
            academic careers.

         a. 6 Months - Requires formation of a committee representing all major
            University constituents. Some of this work has already been completed by
            prior working groups and should be used as a foundation for the definition.

         b. 6 Months to 1 Year - Requires formation of a faculty, administration and
            union committee to discuss and articulate the value of “community-engaged
            scholarship” to the University and in the promotion and tenure process.

         c. Multi-year – Requires faculty and staff resources to coordinate offerings. May
            benefit from a staffed office to assist in coordination and communication of

         community learning experiences. Should be considered a “Differentiator” for
         the University, a strength that attracts students to UMass Lowell. Similar
         resources may be needed for faculty to assist them in identifying engagement
         opportunities and to coordinate a “speaker’s bureau” as indicated in the

   Marketing Need
   The University needs to embed the idea of partnerships and engagement into the
   University culture in order to express its value to internal and external
   constituents. A definition of “community-engaged scholarship” should be broad
   enough to include local, regional, national, and international efforts that engage
   community partners in teaching and research activities.

II. Improve the coordination, communication and marketing of University partnership
    and engagement activities and capabilities to internal and external stakeholders.
       a. Upgrade and revise the University’s website to better update, locate and
          communicate the range of partnership and engagement activities underway
          across the University.

      b. Develop a partnership and engagement database, integrated with the
         University’s website, that helps to connect internal and external stakeholders
         around engagement and partnership opportunities.

      c. Clearly designate and communicate the contacts, offices and entry points that
         will assist external stakeholders to connect to the numerous partnership
         opportunities and resources the University has to offer.

      a. Immediate Need – Web Software that simplifies and improves the process of
         updating websites. Additional web design staff assigned to each department
         to improve update of information.

      b. 1 Year – Database design team, design meetings to work with major
         stakeholders to identify content, format and technology.

      c. 1 Year – Requires faculty and staff resources to coordinate offerings. May
         benefit from a staffed office to assist in coordination and communication of
         community learning experiences. May be same office identified in I.c. above.

   Marketing Need
   Implement a campaign to promote existing partnerships on campus by revising the
   current web site for external users that is easy to find, easy to navigate, and which
   is regularly updated to improve communication. Consider a design which focuses on
   the needs of core constituent groups (e.g., New Students, Current Students,
   Parents, Faculty, Community Organizations) rather than our concept of
   departments and what is important in a particular year.

   Highlight partnership initiatives via a web presence which also promotes the
   University to potential partners. The revision of the website with six months
   should include and encompass:

      Stories written about current partnerships authored by professional staff to
       achieve the maximum impact when promoting the Universities.
      A faculty data base with accomplishments related to partnerships or with
       information on events that result from partnership, as well as resources that are
       available to the community.
      Information about who on campus has expertise in certain areas.
      Above all, a presentation that is “tech savvy”.

III.      Create a University climate and environment that welcomes our partners to
    campus and demonstrates the value the University places on these many teaching,
    research and working relationships.
       a. Review, revise and publicize the process and policies guiding access to
          University facilities for community, corporate and government partners.

       b. Develop an access policy to University facilities that weighs the contribution
          each partnership makes to the teaching, research and service mission of the
          University along with the partner’s ability to pay for this access.

      c. Expand efforts to improve the physical image and cleanliness of existing
         facilities across the University campus.
      a. 6 Months – First form a small committee of University administrators,
         faculty and staff to collect and organize in a central, web repository all
         policies regarding partner access to University facilities. Next expand the
         committee to include community, corporate and government partners to
         identify impact of existing policies, identify appropriate revisions then
         publicize facilities policy recommendations.

       b. Immediate to Ongoing – Unclear as to staff resource needs. Need to improve
          visual aesthetics of current recycling initiative (e.g., new recycling barrels,
          closets for barrels) which may require equipment purchases. Ongoing capital
          improvements required of most buildings.

   Marketing Need
   The physical plant poses challenges to developing an appropriate image which
   needs to be overcome within 6 months. All stakeholders immediately see the
   physical plant and it impacts both decisions as to whether or not to engage the
   University (as student, faculty, staff or partner). While the committee applauds
   efforts made to improve the physical plant in spite of budget issues, there is more
   work to be done. The recycling bins in the hallway are an excellent demonstration of
   the University’s commitment to follow verdant practices to protect the environment.
   Due to some intended and unanticipated consequences, such as odors and
   appearance, identifying an alternative that reduces this impact, blending
   commitment and aesthetics calls for some redesign.

      An increase in the frequency of cleaning common use areas such as restrooms,
      hallways, lecture halls, conference rooms, and laboratories, etc would improve their
      appearance and state. The increased reliance on faculty and staff (not assigned to
      facilities) to clean office areas more than once weekly and change empty trash
      receptacles results in an inconsistent level of overall cleanliness around the campus

Committee for Facilities Renewal and Campus Master Planning
Co-Chairs Joanne Yestramski and John Ting

The mission of the Facilities Renewal and Campus Master Planning Committee is to
develop a comprehensive Campus Master Plan to align the University’s physical campus
with its strategic and academic goals. Central to this mission is the development of a long
range phased implementation plan that is based on the assessment of the existing
facilities and programmatic needs, including the analysis of land use, potential
acquisitions, and transportation issues.

Fundamental challenges immediately confronting this effort included the lack of
foundational planning materials such as updated AutoCAD plans, a space inventory, and
a log of current materials available. With a sizable backlog of deferred maintenance,
limited funding sources and years of unmet programmatic needs, there is little doubt that
this effort is long overdue and will encounter threats to its successful implementation.

While the changes that a University undergoes with a new administration can be
unsettling to processes and institutional memory, in UML’s case this change has provided
a great opportunity to rethink and re-vision many fundamental planning issues that have
not been comprehensively analyzed since becoming a part of the UMass system. The
current effort can be summarized below:

On-going Efforts
   Comprehensive Campus Master Plan – Perry, Dean, Rogers/Partners Architects
   South Academic Facilities – Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. (C7A)

Scope of Work
    Comprehensive Assessment of Physical Campus & Programmatic needs
    Space Allocation/Classroom Utilization Study
    Land Use Analysis; Open Space; New Building Sites; Potential Acquisitions
    Circulation – vehicular and pedestrian; parking, transportation
    Phased re-purposing of existing buildings
    Design guidelines for future development; Massing, Materials
    Sustainability – Energy

Progress to date
    Space inventory – AutoCAD plans and space inventory database coded
    Facility assessments of existing buildings

      Programmatic needs assessments of all departments
      Meetings with City officials
      Community, Facility and Green Workshops
      Compiling inventory and Analysis Reports

    Lack of spaces that promote sense of community
    Inconsistent allocation of space and poor quality of space in general
    Lack of consistent classroom technology
    Excess of general-purpose classrooms on both campuses
    Excess of office space on North Campus

Preliminary Recommendations
As both studies have not yet compiled all the findings, these recommendations are
preliminary and will be developed in more detail as the effort proceeds.

                  River as Quad to connect campuses
                  Parking to perimeters; new garages
                  Transportation is CRITICAL; alternative solutions should be explored
                  Reallocate and renovate space to meet needs before expanding
                  Distribute complementary uses across campuses instead of duplicating
                  Collaborate with City on streetscapes, riverbank improvements and

       South Campus
                Right-size all departments
                New Building Site at corner of Broadway & Wilder - Psychology,
                 Criminal Justice, Nursing and General-purpose classrooms
                Relocate Art, Bookstore, Health and Counseling
                Dining / Food Court to McGauvran with addition; expand Student
                 Union spaces
                Demolish South Dining Hall to create green space, prominence to
                 Coburn, service moved from center of Campus
                Renovation of Coburn Hall is a priority
                Mahoney as swing space; demolish for future building growth
                Re-vision Library as Learning Commons - collaborative services,
                 centralized computer labs, project spaces
                Durgin renovation

Next steps
   Generate and present Alternative Solutions
   Propose policy changes that impact facilities
   Programming new South Academic Building
   Completion of both studies by January 2010

Committee on Financial Planning and Budget Review
Co-chairs Kathryn Carter and Steve O’Riordan

Introduction (item 1A)

Consistent with the goals of the emerging strategic plan, UMass Lowell has appointed a
Financial Planning and Budget Review Committee (FPBRC) committed to increasing
transparency; involving and communicating the entire campus in short and long term
operating and capital budgeting decisionmaking; and empowering managers by increasing
the accountability and responsibility over the management of university resources. The
Financial Planning and Budget Review Committee (FPBRC) had two immediate charges:
to plan for the FY2010 budget, and to establish a multi-year, integrated budget model to
ensure long-term financial stability.

Process (item 1C)

The Committee conducted 24 meetings between March 6th and June 5th to review all major
FY2010 departmental budgets, including goals, strategic priorities, efficiency ideas, and
contingency planning depending upon available financial resources. In addition the
Committee tracked changes at the state and national levels and their impact on the
University’s budget and financial planning.

Review (item 1B)

Some of the “budget themes” that have emerged from this process include the
identification of additional opportunities for reorganization to increase efficiencies such as
IT services, faculty development, international student services, research administration
and events and conference services. Chargeback systems and administrative assessments
will also be reviewed in more detail to determine the appropriate levels of accountability
and responsibility for certain administrative costs, facility and research equipment usage,
debt service, overtime for capital projects and events, research assistant stipends and
waivers, among other things. Strategic management of procurement, contracts and
energy management will also be a focus including partnering more with the UMass
system and other higher education and state consortia to get the best price for goods and

Rigorous attention to academic program planning will continue to focus on achieving the
vision of national and international recognition as a world class institution set by the
Chancellor. The Provost has outlined for the Financial Planning and Budget Review
Committee the following criteria by which program expansion, reorganization and
reallocation proposals will be reviewed:

   -   numbers of majors served
   -   annual graduates produced
   -   associated credit hours taught
   -   research and scholarly productivity, and
   -   service productivity.

Detail of Strategic Recommendations (item 2)

Overarching goals for the strategic planning process and for the development of the
FY2010 budget:

      Increase transparency and expand campus involvement
      Improve knowledge transfer
      Expand empowerment accompanied by accountability
      Implement an all funds approach to budgeting
      Simplify and adopt best practices in budgeting processes
      Increase student success and improve student services (access card, transportation,
       residential living)
      Invest in academic quality
      Invest in facility renewal and expansion
      Finalize a goal-oriented balanced budget with reallocations to strategic priorities
       and appropriate contingencies built in to address future uncertainties

Budget Themes Identified:

   1. Reorganizations may provide more streamlined and efficient operations to better
      meet our goals. For example:
         a. Faculty development center
         b. Information technology services
         c. International student services
         d. Office of research administration
         e. Events and conference services

   2. Chargebacks, as appropriate, may improve accountability and responsibility. For
         a. Facility use
         b. Publications
         c. Postage and duplicating services
         d. Research administration waivers
         e. Specialty labs (animal, characterization, etc.)
         f. Financial aid (i.e., residential life)
         g. Debt financed projects
         h. Overtime for capital projects and events
         i. Reallocation of IDR to fund research facilities

   3. Eliminate historical transfers which are not deemed strategic uses of funds. Take a
      fresh look at “revenue diversion programs”

   4. Efficiencies to be achieved
         a. Strategic procurement
         b. Recharge centers
         c. Energy management
         d. Maximize use of investment in technology, particularly PeopleSoft
         e. Phased retirement

         f. See listing

   5. Fee Fairness
         a. Telecom fee review
         b. Parking fee now negotiated to be charged to all employees
         c. Consider Commencement fees

   6. Contingencies are needed to address future uncertainties

Highest priority needs identified (not in any order) – Strategic Recommendations

   1. Faculty to meet increased enrollment demand
   2. Support for faculty and student work including smart classroom and lab equipment
   3. Professional staff to support revenue enhancement efforts including Advancement,
       and new business enterprise development (events/conferences)
   4. Facilities: custodians, maintenance staff and trades, capital projects management,
       planning and finance and energy management; funding for repairs and renewal
   5. Transportation System investments
   6. Marketing and Branding including web enhancement
   7. Information Technology including academic computing, network support, audio
       visual and video conferencing, training
   8. New business ventures including Inn & Conference Center, strategic land
       acquisitions, Tsongas arena and Boathouse
   9. Administration, Finance and Public Safety investments required to implement a
       One-card solution, expand strategic procurement efforts, additional police and
       dispatcher personnel, blue light and security camera upgrades
   10. Invest in Office of Research Administration fiscal and compliance operations

These budget themes and the high priority areas identified for investment by the FPBRC
have proved valuable to the Executive Cabinet as it develops the FY2010 budget
recommendations for the Chancellor.

Next Steps for the FPBRC:

   1. Reach out to and receive input from the other Strategic Planning Committees to
      assess alignment of strategic planning priorities identified and budget and financial
      planning impact of recommendations
   2. Review campus Capital Planning and Budgeting Processes, needs and Priorities
   3. Develop a Multi-year financial planning model
   4. Identify benchmarks to gauge budget outcomes and track the financial health and
      capacity of the institution.

Committee on Graduate Education and Academic Programs


The University currently offers 56 graduate degree programs, organized across 21
departments. The UML Factbook reported Fall 2008 headcounts of 509 doctoral degree
students, 1438 Master’s degree students, and 904 nondegree graduate students. Over the
past five years, since 2004, the number and percentage of graduate students has grown by
31.2%, from 2172, to the current level of 2851. Graduate students now represent 28.3% of
the total student body. The numbers of Master’s degree and Certificate students,
especially online, have been growing, while the number of doctoral students has remained
relatively level.

To be recognized as a world-class university, U. Mass. Lowell must attract and produce a
substantial number of outstanding scholars across many disciplines. To accomplish this
2020 vision, the current graduate programs must be strengthened, in quality and
quantity, and new graduate programs must be developed. Understanding this endeavor,
the 2020 Strategic Planning Committee on Graduate Education and Academic Programs
embraced a University-wide mission statement for graduate education: “Building
internationally recognized graduate programs one student at a time”. The phrase “one
student at a time” intends to convey, not a sense of cautious gradualism in growth, but
rather attention to the care and nurturing that must be invested in successfully
recruiting, educating, graduating, and reaping alumni support for each student.

To achieve this mission the following draft statement aims to recognize the essential
diversity across disciplines, while formulating recommendations that can improve
coordination of efforts throughout the University. The Committee drafted a general “one-
page” academic plan, as a template from which every department was invited to draft its
own preliminary document; the respective departmental drafts are attached as appendices
to this brief report; they portray the perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats of the individual graduate programs. It is important to note that most of these
drafts are “placeholders” for further work, not consensus statements.

The academic plans now serve as the framework from which faculty can coordinate efforts
in building curriculum and new graduate research initiatives as well as the broad range of
student related support services within every department. Offering the opportunity for
positive change through this method of interdepartmental exchange, departments will be
encourage to review and modify their academic plans annually as their graduate programs
evolve and grow.

This report reflects the collective efforts of our 24 member committee. We met five times
as a total group and each person took responsibility for preparing and reacting to drafts.
We also invited submissions from departments not represented on the Committee, to
afford all departments an opportunity to present ideas for the future of graduate
education. Having identified the objectives and strategies detailed in the Committee’s
academic plan on the following page, the committee members itemized the plans for
implementation and discussed the details necessary to achieving these plans as outlined
in this draft report.

During the fall semester, we anticipate conducting a number of additional meetings to
elaborate on recommended plans and review the entire document before submitting a final
report in December 2009.

A “One-Page” Academic Plan

Building internationally recognized graduate programs one student at a time

To identify strategies for becoming internationally recognized for the quality of our
graduate programs. To review and analyze the core measures of success for academic
programs such as student enrollment, scholarly activity, professional accreditations and

Building internationally recognized graduate programs one student at a time

• Improve public awareness of U. Mass. Lowell’s growing number of graduate programs
• Expand recruitment of domestic and international students
• Increase student enrollment in the Bachelor’s Plus One Master’s Programs
• Leverage existing academic activities to develop new interdisciplinary degree programs
• Prepare students to address regional, national and international issues in a global
• Further develop distinctive doctoral programs offering new academic opportunities to

• Co-ordinate undergraduate advising to increase awareness of Plus One Master’s
• Develop a corporate, non-profit and public sector network for populating academic
• Facilitate opportunities for faculty to organize new programs with administrative
• Host forums for departmental and interdepartmental dialog on graduate education
• Assess student learning, student satisfaction, and career placement

• Improve Web-based presence for all academic and graduate research programs
• Generate a graduate program’s profile catalog encompassing campus-wide activities
• Encourage the formation of corporate and philanthropic sponsored endowed fellowships
• Review and analyze existing academic programs measuring enrollment and scholarly
• Expand support for departments addressing professional accreditations and AQAD
• Establish university-wide graduate faculty focus groups to unify programs, efforts and

• Develop a student ambassador outreach program to raise admission levels
• Analyze workforce requirements in the profit, non-profit, and public sectors
• Survey students to acquire input on ways to improve their academic and campus

A Summary of Discussions – “How Positive Change is Possible”

With a draft of the academic plan completed as exhibited on the prior page, the Committee
on Graduate Education and Academic Programs reached consensus that the two highest
priority Plans for strengthening Graduate Education programs were to improve the: 1)
Web presence and 2) print materials of each department. In preparation for this meeting,
members were asked to review web sites from other universities that they considered to be
models for us to emulate. We viewed and discussed several of these during our meeting.
 The group derived eight principles that characterized the sites regarded as most effective.

1. A clear concise organization of information with an intuitive easily navigated
2. A visually exciting appearance with photos of students and faculty
3. Consistency in appearance among frames with links between day school and continuing
4. Information that is relevant to the discipline with students who can explain the content
5. Coordinated content informing prospective students how to apply and obtain financial
aid, while equally valuable to current students seeking information on courses and current
6. an easily accessible current calendar of events in each department
7. any archived pages deleted to avoid students accessing outdated policies and
8. An FAQ section addressing Financial Aid and job opportunities along with Admissions
and International Student issues.

When discussing the requirement for printed materials, it was agreed that the “Graduate
Profiles” book is not a good use of funds. Much of the information was outdated before the
thousands of printed copies arrived. Rather, one-page inserts that provide accurate,
current information about each department should be available and the pertinent pages
could be chosen and inserted into a UML Graduate Programs folder depending on the
nature of the event. All printed and Web-based materials should take into consideration
recommendations from the 2020 Branding and Marketing Committee

At a subsequent meeting, the Committee reconvened to finish its initial discussions on
their academic plan. First as special topic focus groups and then reporting back to the
entire assembly of members for open discussions, the Committee addressed the Plans
while the individual comments were recorded for generating this summary. While the
Committee recognized that a range of issues were involved for attracting and retaining
high quality graduate students, financial support and outreach seemed central to their
discussions. The following three avenues of financial support were identified.

1) Encourage the formation of corporate and philanthropic sponsored endowed fellowships
   by identifying alumni and corporate/private entities to participate. Administrative

   support staff could be expanded to free up Deans and Chairs to solicit industry and
   develop alumni ties for recruiting and fundraising. Companies could provide fellowship
   and internship opportunities.

2) Increase the funding for graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships (TAs and
   RAs) to expand availability for University-wide programs while increasing the stipend
   levels to be competitive nationally.

3) Tie into Career Service Resources to develop co-ops and internships with active faculty
   participation and attendance at Career Fairs

During discussions on expanding the University’s outreach to prospective students, the
Committee believed both visibility and rankings should be improved through better Web
presence and careful attention to ranking metrics such as class size and faculty/adjunct
ratios. The committee also discussed expanding personal interactions through alumni
involvement with student recruiting by adding alumni profiles on departmental websites
and keeping alumni active through departmental magazines, newsletters and annual
invitational events such as banquets and receptions. Additional comments on raising
admission levels included developing a student ambassador program and student survey
to acquire input on their impression of the academic and campus experience.

Strengthening graduate education at the University, the Committee recommends review
and analysis of existing academic programs measuring enrollment and scholarly activity.
The Admissions Office already collects a wide range of admissions and enrolled student
data regarding acceptance and denial including: test scores, GPA, previous education,
gender, ethnicity, etc. The Committee believes there is a need for more administrative
support to effectively utilize this data for improving University programs

Committee members also discussed the usefulness of collecting more qualitative data
regarding why students chose UML, which will help us understand the ambassadorship of
faculty and students as well as the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Qualitative
data could be collected through departmental review of statement of purpose letters,
references, and during in-take interviews. This would also require support of designated
faculty, additional grad coordinator responsibilities, or administrative support.

Directing the outcome of the gathered information with similar-tier schools as
comparisons, enrollment data could be analyzed by program and type of degree. Regional
and local trends along with shifts could be identified and measured. Additional staff or
faculty release to conduct exit interviews would provide the qualitative information. For
quality outcome assessments, a report should be developed summarizing student
involvement in professional organizations and peer-reviewed activities such as
publications, conference presentations, and documented service to community. Where
appropriate, data should be collected for standardized professional measures, such as the
MTEL for teacher certification and the state-board of nursing licensure exam should be
included. Access to Alumni Office and administrative support to collect data regarding
post-grad professional placement would also be considered critical data. All suggestions
would require additional resources.

Critical to the growth of every graduate program, the Committee discussed expanding
support for departments addressing professional accreditations and AQAD reviews. While
the web-based tools provided by the University are helpful, the Committee suggested
forming an AQAD Task Force comprised of individuals who have experience with the
process. These individuals would be able to assist departments by explaining the process,
making suggestions and providing insight on past successes; saving faculty time.

Acknowledging that professional accreditations are more work, the Committee felt
additional support would be required when departments are going through the
accreditation review. For this process, there should be a faculty coordinator, who has been
given a reduced course load, for organizing the data along with designated clerical support
during the process. There needs to be a single, coordinated data reporting side of the
house. Currently some graduate data needs to be produced in Graduate Admissions, some
is available from Institutional Research – There is more data collection relative to
undergraduates than there is at the graduate level.

Post-review support is critical in order to follow-up on recommendations and action items.
In examining previous reviews, often the same recommendations are made and the same
deficiencies are pointed out. There aren’t sufficient resources to bring about change. We
need to be strategic about our efforts and link to the percent that each measure will affect

The Committee suggested establishing university-wide faculty focus groups to unify the
academic programs, efforts and activities. These groups of faculty could look at curricula
across the University and assess where it makes sense to share resources. (Then
implement it.) Tapping into libraries, IT and the Faculty Development Center, knowledge
regarding what’s available and how to best utilize resources could be shared for evolving
entire graduate programs.

Understanding that the best outcome for students is driven by employment opportunities,
the Committee has recommended that the University analyze workforce requirements in
the profit, non-profit and public sectors. Achieving this goal, the Committee discussed
gathering information available from the President’s Office (Data on Biotech and Life
Sciences), Donahue Institute, Office of Economic Development (state level) and US Bureau
of Labor Statistics (federal/national). Focus groups with Advisory Board members and
Industry Partners could review what skills are required and how we can train our
graduates to meet those needs? It was recommended that every department should have
an active Advisory Board to insure academic programs match targeted growth to job
projections (“jobs of the future”). The Advisory board could work collaboratively with
Career Services to establish a feedback loop with employers (co-ops, internships and job
placements) along with non-profit, public and business associations such as the Mass Bio-
tech Council and Mass Software Council. A University support staff person would be
required to conduct research on industry/employment trends and keep current

Committee on International Partnerships
Co-chairs: Krishna Vedula and Jie Wang

Mission: (1) Assess the current status of the University’s exiting international programs
and partnerships. (2) Make recommendations to further develop these programs and
partnerships and create new ones to provide opportunities for UML students to become
globally competent and bring more international students to campus. (3) Review the
administrative and organizational capacity of the University to support growth of
international programs and partnerships.

This committee should address the following questions:
   1. How can we provide opportunities for students to have meaningful and substantive
      international learning experiences, including traditional study abroad as well as
      experiential learning?
   2. How can we establish partnerships among our faculty and students with those from
      universities around the globe, across disciplines, in scholarship, research, economic
      development projects, and public diplomacy?
   3. How can we better reach out to immigrant groups in the area to meet their higher
      education needs?
   4. How can we involve our international alumni in these efforts?
   5. What external funding opportunities are available to make these programs self-

1 Strengths: A strong group of enthusiastic and active faculty and staff have developed
   various international programs and partnerships.
2 Weaknesses: Most existing international programs and partnerships are formed by
   individuals. There is a lack of adequate administrative infrastructure to coordinate
   these activities and support new initiatives.
3 Opportunities:
   1) International Student Enrollment: Current enrollments of international students
      were reviewed and found to be low. Increasing these enrollments can increase
      revenue as well as enhance globalization of the campus.
   2) Study Abroad Programs: (a) The Lowell region has a long history of welcoming
      immigrants from all over the world, which makes it an ideal place for developing
      international collaborations. (b) UML is well positioned to offer a range of study
      abroad experiences synergistically interwoven with other dimensions of broad-based
      international initiatives
   3) International Partnerships: A large number of the committee members are already
      engaged in international partnerships and strongly feel that with a strategic
      approach, an enormous number of beneficial partnerships can be sustained and
      scaled up. The committee has initiated a process for creating a data base of existing
   4) Online and Hybrid Programs: (a) Build on current connections in China, India,
      Ireland, Italy, Turkey, and other countries; extend “on campus” collaboration to
      online. (b) Expand online offerings: more degree programs, esp. professional
      Master’s. Leverage strengths in Science, Engineering, Management, and
      interdisciplinary. (c) Offer Blended programs
   5) Fundraising: Committee members believe that in this global economy, the climate is
      right for reaching out to individual alumni as well as friends and corporations in
      order to seek support for international programs; a strategic approach is needed.

Overarching approach
 Six subcommittees were formed. They are International Students, Study Abroad
  Programs, International Partnerships, Online and Blended Programs, Fundraising,
  and Infrastructure. The full committee met three times and subcommittees met several
  more times during the period from February to June 2009.

Critical Elements for Success: The committee members quickly came to the consensus that
the success of international partnerships depends on the following three elements:
 Global and innovative thinking
 Faculty Passion
 Infrastructure

Review of Transformations Report: Several committee members pointed out that a
relevant report had been prepared by the previous administration in July 2006.. The
committee reviewed this report and recommended that it be used to guide the current
strategic planning as well. Many recommendations here are very similar to those in the
earlier report.


1 Increase International Student Enrollment
   1) Aggressively recruit international students by creating programs and marketing
       “2 + 3” and “4 + 1” year BS/MS program; transfer articulation agreements with
       Scholarships to subsidize Tuition/Fees for international students
       Create International Student Recruitment staff position
       Establish a local recruiter in China, India, and other countries that have a large
          number of students interested in studying in the US
       Increase international visibility through websites
       Analyze how students have been recruited and by whom
   2) Improve Infrastructure for addressing needs of international students using
      customer service approach:
       Help international students adjust to Lowell and Massachusetts
       Create ESL summer program for new international students, or coordinate with
          Middlesex CC.
       Create good all-round atmosphere for international students on campus
2. Develop and Increase Study Abroad Programs
   1) Establish key international collaborations with universities in countries that have
      connections to local immigrant communities, which have been identified for
      strategic purposes
   2) Develop study abroad programs at those locations
   3) Continue to work with private study abroad providers for other destinations
   4) Engage alumni and area residents, particularly those with ties to certain locations,
      to finance study abroad opportunities
   5) Standardize a system for awarding of academic credit for study abroad coursework.

3. Increasing Partnerships

   1) Share information
       Increase visibility of Campus International Activities with a dynamic inventory
         and e-newsletter
       Annual forum to present summaries of international activities
       Develop guidelines on how to locate funding institutions and international
         partners and for visiting international scholars and UML faculty abroad
   2) Provide support and keep track of funding sources of international activities
   3) Recognize international academic work carried out by faculty and staff
   4) Create innovative programs
       International Institute for Faculty (summer)
       International College for Students (summer)
       Joint degrees between international academic institutions
       Build on strengths: Assistive Technology Programs etc

4. Increase Online and Hybrid Programs
   1) Develop “workable” models of online programs with international partners.
   2) Develop “3+1+1” and “3+2” programs
   3) Develop 3-year online education in home country; 1-2 year at UML campus
   4) Develop 1 year plus Master’s degree programs (esp. MBA)
   5) Split a semester into online session (3 months) and face-to-face session (1 month)
      with Faculty to foreign institutes
   6) Identify New Funding: Example: Department of Education: $2 million for Business
      and International Education Program,

5. Enhance Fundraising
   1) Reach out to alumni as well as individuals within the Lowell communities for
      scholarships, summer employment, housing for international students and study
      abroad students
   2) Partner with Fortune 500 companies, multi-national corporations, and government
      agencies on specific programs they promote and support:
       Industry examples (Mobile Exxon: Diversity and International Initiatives;
         “Educating Women and Girls”; Africa Health Initiative, Community Summer
         Jobs Program; ConocoPhillips (2008 Corporate contributions :50% Education &
         Youth; WalMart)
       Government (Peace Corps; US Embassy in Iraq; NSF)

Committee on Research and Scholarship

Co-chairs: Julie Chen and Partha Chowdhury
1 Introduction
a. Charge to the Committee
The mission is to assess current efforts in research, scholarship, and creative work
(RSCW) and to identify strategies for strengthening these efforts. In particular, the
following questions were addressed:
        What strategies should we use to enhance Research, Scholarship, and Creative

         How can we increase external funding in support of research from federal
          agencies, corporations, and foundations? (i) For large grants (e.g. Center-level);
          (ii) For single-investigator or small-group grants
         How can we strengthen collaboration with other UMass campuses?
         How can we strengthen partnerships with industry in order to support
          commercialization efforts that will boost economic development of the state with
          emphasis in the northeast and the Merrimack Valley?
         What strategies should we use to enhance national and international
         What faculty support and incentives are most effective? What are the road-
         How do we enhance the educational experience of our graduate and
          undergraduate students through our RSCW endeavor?
         How should we evaluate and manage the University’s research centers?

b. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
Several reports and white papers over the past few years have assessed the SWOT of the
existing UML RSCW enterprise. In particular, a white paper by the Interim Vice Provost
for Research (June 2007) and the respective reports from the Task Force on a Strategic
Plan for Research Development (December 2004) and the Task Force for Collaborative
Research (March 2003) contain much information and many recommendations that are
still very relevant.
With the major changes in upper administration and a large influx of new faculty comes
an opportunity for a significant shift in strategic vision, process, and outcomes. The
university is fortunate to be large enough for the depth, and small enough for the cross-
cultural dialog that transcends physical separation of colleges and campuses. We have
established national and international recognition in core areas that should serve as both
foundation and examples for growth and offshoots. In addition, an important asset is our
location, where we are in close proximity to world-class science, technology, art, education
and culture, and are free to create our own local and global synergies. This geographical
placement is a powerful draw for quality recruitment in both graduate students and
As the University moves towards the next level, however, changes must occur in processes
that were well-suited for a small-scale operation, but are not scalable for a major research
institution. Communication for both collection and distribution of information becomes a
potential barrier to full buy-in of the faculty and staff. Allocation of limited funds in a
difficult economic environment must be done in a way that clearly invests in the continued
growth and enrichment of the RSCW enterprise.

c. Overarching Approach
The overarching approach taken by this committee was to define five key subcommittees
to address the key questions: Funding, Partnerships, Infrastructure, Recognition, and
Students. Each subcommittee reviewed the recommendations related to their theme area
from prior task force reports.        Augmented by additional discussion within the
subcommittee, summaries were provided to the full committee for further discussion. This
report is the outcome of these discussions.
2 Recommendations
a. Increase Time for Faculty to Pursue RSCW: The single overall barrier to enhanced
RSCW is the lack of time to develop connections, write proposals, generate preliminary
results, and actually conduct the RSCW. This issue is tied directly to definitions of
workload and workload expectation. For example, the time required to advise a doctoral
student in their thesis research or mentor an undergraduate student has not been
effectively counted in past workload metrics. Recognizing that the workload issue will
need to ultimately be addressed within the MTA/UML collective bargaining process, the
Committee recommends:
   Table A. Recommendations for Increasing Time for Faculty to Pursue RSCW Efforts
Recommendation           Timeline           Resources        Marketing/               Benchmarks
                                            Needed           Communication
1. Workload              Sept 2009 small    Funding for      Need to explain          Resulting
reductions for faculty   scale; continue    adjunct,         criteria for             growth in
who are pursuing         to expand          visiting prof,   selection/funding        program
significant RSCW                            scholar-         decisions                productivity
projects, and/or                            teacher                                   (e.g., students,
demonstrate                                 postdocs                                  grants, papers)
leadership in                                                                         and success of
advancing research                                                                    mentored
programs and                                                                          faculty
mentorship in
assisting others, as
well as in developing
and growing graduate
2. “Scholar-Teacher”     Sept 2009 small    Teaching         Need broad               Quality and
postdoc or extra         scale; full        stipend and      advertising to attract   subsequent
graduate assistant       implementation     tuition          good candidates;         placement of
positions that are       Sept 2010          waiver funds     recognition that         recruited
funded partially by                                          research productivity    postdocs;
the University for                                           will be reduced per      increased
teaching and partially                                       postdoc, but valuable    productivity of
by research funds for                                        teaching experience      reduced-load
active research                                              gained; need to          faculty in other
programs and                                                 explain criteria for     RSCW
programs with growth                                         selection/funding        endeavors
potential.                                                   decisions
3. Identification of     Initiate near-     Staff person     Address union
appropriate workload     term effort, but   to collect and   concerns;
definitions and          is a long-term     organize         acknowledge
expectations by field    process            information;     limitations of single
                                            time from        or few models for
                                            faculty to       even one field
                                            provide input
4. Reduced teaching      Already            Funding for      Need departments to      Productivity
load and “no-load”       ongoing;           adjunct,         have long-term           and quality of
semesters for new and    continued          visiting prof,   strategy for mix of      tenure
junior faculty           support            scholar-         junior and senior        packages of
                                            teacher          faculty to support       junior faculty

                                            postdocs         mission
b. Improve Faculty Connections within UML and Externally, and Increase
Visibility/Recognition: Creation of large, multi-disciplinary, funded RSCW programs
requires connection both within UML and with external partners. The first step is often
creating more opportunities for faculty to “find” other faculty with relevant expertise and
interests. Both electronic and face-to-face approaches should be included and are also
important for increasing collaborations with other institutions (e.g., UMass campuses) and
industry. An additional benefit of a user-friendly electronic data collection, organization,
and searching system is the increased ability to more systematically identify and
recognize RSCW achievements to further enhance UML’s external reputation. The
Committee recommends:
    Table B. Recommendations for Increasing Internal and External Collaborations and
Recommendation        Timeline           Resources Needed          Marketing/            Benchmarks
1. Improve UML        Fall 2009:         Investigate               Connect to other
website and/or        Initial            connection with UML       information
faculty and           identification     E-Library system and      collection needs –
researcher database   of categories to   staff; requires faculty   e.g., papers,
(keyword search,      collect info on    to provide input, staff   awards, books,
critical mass areas   (e.g., research    to keep info updated      performances –
of expertise) --      interests,                                   and to
establish user-       funded                                       recognition and
friendly web-based    projects,                                    dissemination
input system (e.g.,   papers,                                      needs – e.g.,
faculty can           students); mid-                              marketing of
continuously          Spring 2010,                                 Univ success;
update, easily        launch                                       address union
generate updated      database?                                    concerns
CV, annual report,
2. Organize           Ongoing            Minimal –                 Marketing is key      Number of
activities to                            refreshments;             – need good           multi-
generate more face                       facilitator/organizer     participation by      disciplinary
time between                                                       already over-         proposals (and
faculty – promote                                                  scheduled             funded
interdisciplinary                                                  faculty, therefore,   programs,
collaborations (e.g.,                                              activities should     scholarship,
thematic                                                           be productive         CW)
workshops, informal                                                (but not
meeting spaces)                                                    necessarily
3. Encourage          Current            Initial funds to          Include photos        Number of
development of        examples:          establish, grow           and descriptions      programs and
more                  Biomedical         program; ultimately,      of graduate           students
interdisciplinary     Eng, Nano          program must              students and
programs (e.g., to    (but no            generate enough           their experiences
support graduate      coordinated        students to justify       to appeal to
students for depts.   student            sustainability;           prospective
without large grad     recruitment       address issue of           students
programs, to pool      effort yet, and   requisite faculty
recruiting             continued need    credit for extra-
resources)             to enhance        departmental
                       faculty           academics; cross-
                       interaction)      linking programs
4. Establish           Ongoing           Connect to database        Resource for
structure for          (recent           support                    marketing
reporting and          research funds
acknowledging          and book
accomplishments,       publication
starting from dept     celebrations);
chair to dean to       effective dept
univ-wide; integrate   chair to dean
with                   to univ
acknowledgement of     structure to be
RSCW excellence        established (in
and achievements,      coordination
team awards            with database
5. Facilitate visits   Currently,        Facilities for hosting     Start by           Number of
to/by funding          individual-       (e.g., new downtown        encouraging        activities
agencies and           driven            facility); travel funds    faculty on an      (hard to tie
foundations;                                                        individual basis   directly to
visibility at and                                                   and then           funding
hosting of                                                          publicizing to     outcomes,
conferences, panels,                                                expand             general
workshops;                                                                             reputation

c. Increase Grantsmanship Training and Information on Funding Resources: Obtaining
more funding is not in direct proportion to the number of proposals submitted. Higher
success rates from higher quality proposals are important not only for long-term external
reputation, but also to avoid faculty fatigue and reduced time for actually creating
scholarship and program growth over the long term. As the number of faculty involved in
RSCW rises rapidly, new processes must be established for the Provost’s office and ORA in
particular, to provide training and contacts, facilitate large proposal efforts, and create a
more efficient post-award contracts and grants process.
    Table C. Recommendations for Infrastructure-related Efforts to Increase External
Recommendation                Timeline         Resources           Marketing/           Benchmarks
                                               Needed              Communication
1. Offer more grant           Some             Support for         Strong interest      Number of
writing workshops –           workshops        external            exists, key is       proposals
throughout the year; invite   (e.g., NSF       experts;            scheduling.          and success
external people with          CAREER)          refreshments                             rate
funding agency and            have been
foundation expertise;         held in the
discipline-specific           past; need to
workshops                      expand these
                               offerings on a
                               regular basis
2. Publicize and expand        Ongoing          Staff to assist   Address info             Number of
ORA resources (SMARTS                           and keep up       overload issue           users
database, examples of                           to date
funded proposals)
3. Publicize new university    Very near        Minimal
structure and contact          term (end of
people – improve               July?), and
integration of ORA, CVIP,      continuous
Advancement, etc.              updating on
4. Increase effectiveness      Ongoing          Needs easier      Need to show how         Return on
and transparency of                             access to         any changes in fund      investment
support funds (e.g., seed,                      accounts and      allocation (e.g., user   of funds
matching, OH return, user                       account           fees, OH return)
fees); establish                                reports           correspond to
discretionary funds of                                            reinvestment in
different levels for dept,                                        RSCW
college, and univ                                                 infrastructure
allocation; establish and
publicize policies for
shared-use facilities;
ensure reasonable stability
of OH return and user fees
for planning
5. Strategic plans for         Ongoing          Major univ        Need to show how         Status of
research facilities and                         investment        any changes in fund      core facilities
resources – maintenance,                                          allocation
staffing, capital                                                 correspond to
equipment, policies                                               reinvestment in
                                                                  infrastructure; need
                                                                  to have open process
                                                                  for input on
                                                                  strategic planning
6. Generate common core        Identify         Shared         Publicity of                Number of
talent pool – e.g., graphics   highest          university and available resources         users
for proposals and              priority         PI support of
presentations, statistical     services and     staff
studies, assessment, K-12,     potential
accounts and purchasing        support
7. Advisory Councils and       Ongoing, but
other mechanisms to            needs to be
obtain feedback, generate      more clearly
new ideas, and share best      defined

d. Enhance the Quality and Experience of Our Graduate and Undergraduate Students:
The success of the RSCW enterprise is heavily dependent on the quality of our students.
Recruitment of high-quality students is paramount to both the quality and quantity of
RSCW our faculty can generate. Success of our students (our primary “product”) is critical
to the mission and the long-term reputation of the University.

  Table D. Recommendations to Enhance the Quality and Experience of Our Students in
Recommendation           Timeline             Resources        Marketing/        Benchmarks
                                              Needed           Communication
1. Ensure graduate       Recently             Process for      Needs to tie to   Number of
student funding is       negotiated GEO       allocation of    increased         applications
competitive and          contract addresses   PI funds and     recruiting        (selectivity);
offers can be made       competitive          univ funds                         number of accepted
in a timely fashion –    financial packages   into                               students that enroll
e.g., funding pool for   (in-state, out-of-   coordinated                        (yield); number of
interdisciplinary        state addressed?);   funding pools                      students that
and large programs       need program                                            graduate
                         coordination for
                         Sept 2010 (Spring
                         2010 offers)
2. Actively identify,    Initiate near term   Funds to         Identify          Increase in number
develop connections      at small scale,      bring good       targeted          of
with, and recruit        institutionalize     candidates to    marketing         underrepresented
high quality             successful           campus in        options           groups
students, faculty,       approaches           interactive
and staff from                                groups
3. Provide funding       Ongoing              Coordination                       Success of students
to students for                               of existing                        (awards, grad
professional                                  funds,                             school acceptance,
development (travel,                          identification                     post-grad
student research                              of additional                      placement)
symposium, honors                             funds if
program) and                                  necessary

3. Further topics that need addressing: While many issues around enhancing
interdisciplinary research were discussed, the specific topic of how to evaluate and manage
the University’s research centers and institutes were not addressed. This topic naturally
fits into the “Infrastructure” category, and needs serious attention if we are to attain our
institutional ambitions. A review of national models of interdisciplinary research center
governance, and how they might be adapted to best fit our evolving university
administrative structure, is recommended.

Committee on Undergraduate Education and Student Success

Co-chairs Charlotte Mandell and Fred Martin

       The original charge to this Committee was to identify strategies for UMass Lowell
to become nationally recognized for its quality of student learning and its undergraduate
programs. The work focused on two primary areas: improving student success through
enhanced support mechanisms and opportunities for engagements, and improving student
learning through curricular reform and expanded models of pedagogy. The issues
addressed by this committee included experiential learning, service learning and co-ops,
undergraduate research, General Education, interdisciplinarity, Honors Program, first-
year programs, programs to supports transfer students, gateway courses, student support
in areas of personal and cultural development, and academic support services, admissions
in general, and recruitment and support of international and multi-cultural students in
       The committee enumerated numerous strengths and weakness. In general,
although there are individual programs (both in academic and support domains) that have
achieved excellence, programs tend to be fragmented; there is a lack of communication and
awareness among related programs; and there is weak outreach to students about specific
programs. We need to take advantage of potential synergy among these programs;
enhance the visibility of the programs, and strengthen the relationships among them.
       The committee combined several methods to develop its recommendations; we met
in small subcommittees, we met several times as a committee of the whole, we reviewed
earlier documents such as the Transformation reports and related literature, and we
conducted two surveys of undergraduate programs and of support programs to identify
current status and best practices in a variety of areas. Most of our recommendations,
however, grew out of extensive discussion in small working groups followed by discussion
as a committee of the whole.


1. Greatly Expand Experiential Learning and Community Engagement
Given that education in the 21st century is no longer limited by the traditional boundaries
of the classroom, we recommend that the University strengthen and expand its
commitment to new modes of learning; that every program on campus develop
opportunities and consider adding requirements of such modes as cooperative education,
service learning, research opportunities, city as lab, and practica.
       A specific dimension of experiential learning that we want to foster includes
enhanced community contact on and off campus (strengthens students, communication,
civic responsibility; strengthens learning).
2. Enhance Support for all New Students (First-year students and Transfer students)
Assess current first year seminars to identify strengths and weaknesses. Provide first-year
courses for students in all disciplines and a transitional-seminar for transfer students.
       Provide more opportunities for social and recreational engagement. Some of these
opportunities for student interaction can be provided by adding service learning to first-
year and transitional courses as well as through student life.
3. Foster Success in Gateway Courses.
Require programs to identify courses that have high failure rates, particularly those
courses that are "gateway" courses. Identify sources of high failure rates and examine

curriculum and pedagogy; strengthen faculty support (through council initiatives, faculty
development initiatives and administrative initiatives); provide TA support including
appropriate training for TA's, consider structural supports relating to tutoring centers,
classroom improvements.
4. Strengthen Student Support and Advising with Centers.
Strengthen advising and tutoring, particularly targeting the needs of at-risk students
(undeclared students, students on warning, students who have failed to meet the
requirements of particular majors).
        Integrate and centralize services so that students' needs can be addressed more
efficiently. Improve evaluation of risk, perhaps through a mandatory midsemester
warning for failing students (to replace the current midsemester grade option, which we
believe has not been effective), enhanced intervention and follow-up by related services,
represented on both campuses. Vastly enhance access to support-information using
improved technology (web-based, text-based, phone-based, including 24-7 access).
5. Develop a Vibrant, Institutionalized Honors Program.
It is to the advantage of the University to have a strong and vibrant honors program. We
recommend following the guidelines of the Commonwealth Honors Program to achieve this
goal. A particular challenge is to develop mechanisms to facilitate faculty teaching within
the Honors program.
6. Encourage Interdisciplinarity for Teaching Excellence and Strategic Research
Create and enhance means of bringing people together. Create means of identifying
common interest areas across disciplines, develop and implement policies that address
workload and FTE issues and departmental restrictions and culture.
7. Integrate Research Opportunities into the Undergraduate Experience.
Using the definition of research as the "creative endeavors within a discipline," create a
means of identifying and developing on-campus research opportunities and provide a
structure dedicated to coordinating and advertising these efforts.
8. Promote Diversity and Multi-Culturalism.
As with other transitional students we will need to enhance on-campus opportunities for
support and early orientation and community engagement of under-represented students,
but these efforts might be targeted to the specific cultural issues of particular groups. We
would like to encourage opportunities for synergy between ethnic minority groups and
international student groups. We would like to expand recruitment efforts and bridge
programs in areas with high numbers of ethnic minorities and expand academic and
recreational programs that target the ethnic minority groups on campus.
9. Revitalize Intra-Institutional Communication.
None of the above will happen in a meaningful way without commitment from the
university to centralize and provide administrative structures that facilitate integration
and communication, such as central offices, web-based inventories, standing committees,
individuals identified as key contacts, etc., to foster greater student awareness of
opportunities and greater faculty collaboration in the development of such opportunities.

10. Develop a 21st Century General Education Program.
Given that many of the recommendations above appear to reflect an expanded model of an
ideal undergraduate education, and that GenEd2K was first conceptualized almost 15
years ago, it is time for a commitment to the development of a new Gen Ed program for
the campus that can incorporate many of the principles above.

Committee on University Advancement
Co-chairs Robert Tamarin and Elizabeth Shorr

Charge to the Committee on University Advancement

The Committee on University Advancement is charged with developing a strategic plan to
1.   Dramatically increase private revenues with new, sustainable sources of funding
2.    Expand the scope and scale of student scholarship
3.    Strengthen the relationship between the University and its alumni

Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

UMass Lowell has many opportunities to build on successes and capitalize on
opportunities that will create long-term, sustainable support for the institution.
Student engagement must be addressed for the University to build and create sustainable
philanthropy. In addition, alumni support and engagement across the University must
increase in all areas.

University Advancement has undergone significant change in the past 4-5 years and
experienced significant turnover in staff and budget reductions. There are key functions
that must be enhanced, including planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, and
major gifts. The University, through appropriate staffing, has the opportunity to build
its fundraising capacity, increase its return on investment, re-build its annual fund, and
increase alumni participation despite the current economic environment.

UMass Lowell is fortunate to have a very committed team of Deans and Chairs who can be
active fundraisers for their schools and colleges. Staff members from Advancement need to
work closely with the Deans to ensure best practices in fundraising.


The Committee on University Advancement met six times throughout March, April and
May, 2009, to develop its recommendations. The Committee began with an initial review
of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing UMass Lowell and its efforts.
The Committee reviewed data providing comparative results developed by the Core Group
(Attachment 1) for UMass Lowell. The group also looked at the activities of peer
institutions (Attachment 2), including the UMass System campuses and aspirant
fundraising institutions, including private institutions, and large successful public
institutions. The Committee reviewed past fundraising performance of each school and
college. The Committee also addressed the questions posed to it in the “Charge to the


1) Student-Alumni Engagement

Develop and implement a University-wide student-alumni engagement program by July

The University’s relationship with its alumni begins when a prospective student is
admitted to the University. All interactions between the University and its freshmen
and transfer students affect the students’ perceptions of the institution. The University
      a. Strengthen ties with students beginning when they first arrive on campus;
         create a freshmen “year book.”
      b. Teach students what it means to be alumni, how important alumni support is to
         the institution, and what is expected of them as they become good stewards of the
      c. Identify best practices in student engagement and ensure that those are adopted
         by the schools and colleges.
      d. Ensure that alumni and alumni recognition are prominent throughout the
      e. Engage alumni with appropriate staff in their areas of affinity.
      f. Identify where geographical concentrations of alumni are and develop a
         regional engagement strategy.
      g. Meet alumni “where they are” either physically or virtually (using social and
         professional networking sites).
      h. Gather information from alumni of different decades to determine how they
         would like to be engaged.
      i. Use class year (e.g., John Smith ’08), school or college, whenever alumni names
         appear in print.
      j. Invite current faculty and staff to alumni events, and students and alumni to
         serve on committees.

2) Create a Culture of Philanthropy

Create a culture of philanthropy in all of the schools and colleges and other areas that
engage with students.

As a culture of philanthropy is created throughout the University, faculty and staff
working with the Office of Alumni Programs should begin to reach out and meet with
alumni who have the potential to support UMass Lowell.
      a. Develop and implement a structured communications strategy regarding
          philanthropy, expectations as students, and expectations as alumni by
          September 2010.
      b. Orientation, welcome days, and other student affairs activities should contain
          discussion of alumni expectations.

      c. Build philanthropic activities into student affairs programs and service
         learning activities.
      d. Highlight the success of UMass Lowell alumni and highlight alumni
         philanthropic support of UMass Lowell.

3) Fundraising

Develop and implement a plan to conduct the UMass Lowell Capital Campaign, beginning in

The launch of a Capital Campaign to support UMass Lowell 2020 will be critical to the
effort to achieve a dramatic increase in private philanthropy as donors are able to see
tangible results of the transformational effect of their gifts to UMass Lowell.
        a. Double the size of the UMass Lowell endowment by 2020.
        b. Develop a planned giving program. As wealth transfer takes place, the
           University can significantly increase its support from bequests and other
           planned gifts.
        c. Implement new tools for wealth-screening, predictive modeling, and
           employment of best practices, resulting in an annual 10% growth rate of funds
        d. Develop appropriate staffing levels to support a comprehensive Capital
During the interim period, prior to the start of the Capital Campaign, fundraising efforts
will be focused on increasing participation in annual giving and increasing the number
and size of major and principal gifts.

4) Build University Infrastructure

Develop and implement a University-wide plan by 2014, increasing staff resulting in an
increase in private philanthropic support for UMass Lowell.

Advancing the University to dramatically increase private philanthropy requires a significant
influx of resources in the University Advancement Office and other areas of the University.
Resources must be invested in three areas: development (fundraising), alumni and student
relations, and donor communications and stewardship. In order to bring staffing to the
levels of UMass Lowell’s aspirational peer institutions, staffing in the development area
should at least double, moving from 3 at present, to 6 active directors of development and
adding staff in Corporate and Foundation Relations. Each school and/or college should have a
director of development assigned specifically to it, reporting to Advancement yet housed in
the school or college with dotted line reporting to the Dean. Significant investment should
also be made in Alumni Relations dedicating resources to the schools and colleges and student
affairs. Each school should have its own associate director of alumni relations reporting to
Advancement with a dotted line to the Dean. In this fashion the role of the Deans, the
Athletic Director, and Dean of Students in development should be supported and
(Attachment 3)

5) Marketing and Promotion

Support the implementation of a bold, visible marketing campaign focused on raising
awareness of, and funds for UMass Lowell, based on the work of the Committee on
Branding and Marketing.

Fund-raising at UMass Lowell will be greatly supported by a campaign to raise awareness
among its alumni donors and prospective donors, in order to raise the percentage of alumni
supporting the institution from 7% in 2008 to our goal of 20% by 2020. The campaign
should be institution-wide and should support the planned Capital Campaign as well as
transcending all areas of the University from academics to athletics.


The following have been identified as benchmarks by which to judge success:

         1. Percentage of students participating in the UMass Lowell Fund.
         2. The percentage of alumni giving to UMass Lowell.
         3. Fundraising performance as measured:
             a. against yearly goal
             b. against peer institutions
             c. against aspirant peer institutions
             d. by number and size of major gifts received
             e. by return on investment
             f. by growth in endowment
         4. Attendance at University events.


The University of Massachusetts Lowell has a significant opportunity to position itself
as a world class institution. It has the opportunity to increase significantly the level of
sustainable private philanthropic support afforded to the institution by building an
institutional culture of philanthropy and support of student and alumni services and
investing in University-wide advancement, including appropriate staffing levels.


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