Financial Master Plan
In short, then, the budget plans outlined here (with the increases in students, grants, fundraising) all depend on effective, high performance execution. This campus sits on the edge of a significant change. It no longer has the opportunity to stay put and remain a nationally competitive flagship institution for its students and faculty, its teaching and research. Either it will be able to execute this plan and continue to compete among other nationally competitive top American research universities, or it will not be able to execute this plan, and the trustees will need to recognize Amherst as a useful regional campus for Western Massachusetts, but certainly not a flagship institution.
We expect to measure the performance of this campus on several dimensions. The first is whether we meet the budget projections outlined in this report. If we do, then the performance achievements we anticipate are appropriate. If we do not, then lowered expectations will be required.
The second dimension compares the performance of UMass Amherst against the top American research universities. We have available nine measures of competitive success, and the campus will track its performance against these measures in two ways. The first is how well we do relative to the marketplace of top research universities and the second is whether we improve our current performance relative to our previous performance on these key measures. The data for this accountability is available nationally.
A third dimension looks internally using surveys and a variety of other measures to see that the campus delivers its programs effectively to its students and provides strong services to its various immediate constituencies in the Commonwealth, that it admits and graduates students with the skills and abilities to succeed after college, and that it maintains and enhances its ability to capture the talents of an appropriately diverse group of faculty, students, and staff.
The combination of these measures--financial and performance, nationally referenced and internally measured--will ensure that UMass Amherst remains a flagship institution accountable to those who fund its programs (students, parents, legislators, granting agencies, donors, and others). The performance anticipated is, always, linked directly to the revenue available, and consequently the institution’s primary responsibility is to earn the highest possible revenue so it can invest wisely in the performance expected of a nationally competitive research campus.
John V. Lombardi
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