From our founding as a land-grant university with a mission to educate the sons and daughters of Massachusetts to our rise within the ranks of the finest public universities in the nation, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been guided by the enduring vision to create public impact through innovation. Yet, each era provides new challenges and opportunities. To ensure future innovation and impact within our immersive, residential undergraduate and graduate education model in a rich research environment, we must become more effective at demonstrating our value to our many constituencies while operating in ever-more challenging resource environments. In order to effectively address these challenges and set an agenda for the campus, to serve as a guide for unit planning, and to enable resource allocations that align with strategic priorities, the campus embarked upon a broad-based, multi-stage strategic planning process in 2012. Through a Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight (JTFSO) comprised of faculty, students, staff and administrators, and with consultation from diverse campus constituencies, the Phase I document, "Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University," was produced and continues to serve as a guide for planning and implementation across the campus.
During Phase II in the 2013–2014 academic year, JTFSO fleshed out campus priorities and direction in order to create developmental plans to set the stage for unit planning in Phase III. With Diversity, Outreach and Engagement, and Internationalization as cross-cutting themes throughout the planning process, the development of a comprehensive Diversity Strategic Plan began during Phase II. To enable us to move toward a more intentional system of resource allocation, The Joint Task Force on Resource Allocation (JTFRA) was formed in Fall 2013, and began to explore different resource allocation models that can be employed to align budgets with strategic priorities in the future, with initial piloting of a model-informed resource allocation system in the following year.
During Phase III in the fall of 2014, administrative units, schools, colleges, and departments drafted plans for Part I: Destination of Choice, focusing on undergraduate education. During the spring of 2015, departments developed plans for graduate education and research for Part II: Investment of Choice. These plans, along with updated performance indicator data, were the basis for the integration of planning and resource allocation in Academic Year 2015-16. Administrative unit plans for resource allocation were also developed, along with launching the Joint Subcommittee on Administrative Costs and Services to develop recommendations for the review of administrative and support costs and the Campus Planning and Resource Committee (CPARC) to integrate the work of the joint task forces JTFSO and JTFRA into the future.
This foundation continues to inform the Academic Year 2016-17 Resource Allocation and Planning process, toward a transparent, consultative and evidence-based resource allocation process that focuses our strategic priorities to achieve our fullest potential as the commonwealth’s Flagship public research university.