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Institutional Characteristics

Standard One:
Mission and Purposes

Standard Two:
Planning and Evaluation

Standard Three:
Organization and Governance

Standard Four:
Programs and Instruction, Undergraduate Education

Standard Four:
Programs and Instruction, Graduate Education

Standard Four:
Programs and Instruction, Research and Scholarship

Standard Four:
Programs and Instruction, Outreach

Standard Five:

Standard Six:
Student Services

Standard Seven:
Library and Information

Standard Eight:
Physical Resources

Standard Nine:
Financial Resources

Standard Ten:
Public Disclosure

Standard Eleven:

Data Forms:

  • Form I.
  • Form II.
  • Form II.
  • Form IV.
  • Form V.
  • Form VI(a).
  • Form VI(b).
  • Form VII.
  • Form VIII.

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  • A Note to Readers


    The institutional Self-Study may be accessed by clicking on any one of the topics listed on the left sidebar of this page. The Self-Study should be read in conjunction with the "Standards of Accreditation" published by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It is available at The Association's "Standards" provide the specific topics which the Self-Study attempts to address.

    Beginning on Sunday, October 25, a Visiting Team, assembled by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, will be on the UMass campus and will spend the following two and a half days meeting with faculty, staff and students to gain a first-hand knowledge of the institution. Included in this visit will be an Open Forum at which any member of the campus community can meet with visiting team members and comment upon the institution's strengths and weaknesses. The Open Forum will be held on Tuesday, October 27 at from 2 to 3:30 pm in Campus Center 165-69.

    The Visiting Team will be chaired by President John DiBiaggio of Tufts University and will include the following people:

  • Dean Steven T. Bossert, School of Education, Syracuse University

  • Assistant Vice President J.Thomas Bowen, University of Georgia

  • Professor Francine S. Hall, School of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire

  • Dr. Maureen Hartford, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Michigan

  • Wilbur Jones, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, University of Connecticut

  • President Emeritus Martin Massengale, University of Nebraska

  • Professor Lynn Pasquerella, Department of Philosophy, University of Rhode Island

  • Dr. Paul Pugliese, Librarian, Duquesne University

  • Dr. Maurice Taylor, Senior Vice President and Provost, St. Augustine's College (North Carolina)

    In addition to these team members, there will be an observer, Professor James Gosling, Department of Biochemistry, National University of Ireland, Galway

    Throughout this document, the phrases UMass Amherst and the campus refer to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The University usually refers to the University of Massachusetts System. Exceptions include some names, such as the University Gallery or University Health Services, which are both Amherst campus unit.

    All documents whose titles are italicized in the Self-Study will be available in the Workroom during the Accreditation Team's visit to campus. Anyone wishing a copy of any of these materials before then should contact Kathleen Kelly at (413) 577-0480.

    There is an organizational chart and a brief history of the institution published in theFactbook,which is included in the Appendix to the Self-Study


    The purpose of this Self-Study, like the accreditation process itself, is to demonstrate that UMass Amherst complies with all the accreditation standards of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). It is also an opportunity to describe and document the institution's strengths, and to identify those areas that need attention whether to maintain current strengths, to rebuild what may have been lost since the last reaccreditation, or to plan for increasing and reshaping its educational resources.

    This Self-Study is intended to be read in conjunction with the institution's current five-year plan, Strategic Action, which is included as the Appendix. The Self-Study has come at a propitious time: the campus is about halfway through the five-year period covered by the current strategic plan and will, within the coming academic year, begin preparing for the next iteration of planning. This Self-Study has offered the campus an opportunity to assess what has been achieved by Strategic Action and to help shape the questions and issues that the next planning cycle should address.

    Preparations for the 1998 re-accreditation began in fall 1996, when Associate Chancellor James Leheny, attended the NEASC conference on accreditation policies and procedures. He returned to campus and conferred with Chancellor Scott and Provost Crosson about the best and most useful ways to undertake the process as a whole, and the Self-Study in particular. One early question was whether the campus should focus on three or four areas in depth (as it had done in the 1988 Self-Study) or to prepare a traditional Self-Study that focused equally on the fourteen standards. The latter option was chosen because the campus, in preparing Strategic Action, had recently completed several in-depth studies of important issues, such as financial resources and faculty roles and rewards, and it was agreed that a traditional, comprehensive format would examine areas studied less thoroughly in that planning process, such as student affairs and public relations. It was also agreed that a comprehensive "snap shot" of the institution could be useful as the campus began the next planning cycle.

    The next question to address was how best to develop the 1998 Self-Study. Two issues were apparent. First, the campus is very large. As the largest public university in New England, it has 6,000 employees, 23,000 students and an annual operating budget of $500 million. The point was that the Self-Study process should encourage participation by as many people on campus as possible. But given the size of the organization and the number of people involved, it was agreed that the process should be concentric: at its center it should have two faculty members who would serve as co-chairs. Their role would be to oversee the process, making decisions whenever disagreements arose, and generally providing guidance toward producing an accurate and useful study. Professor Esther Terry, Chairperson of Afro-American Studies, and Professor Richard Giglio, former chairperson of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, agreed to serve as co-chairs. The day-to-day activities were to be coordinated by three administrators - Associate Chancellor Leheny, Associate Provost Bryan Harvey and Director of Institutional Research, Marilyn Blaustein. A graduate student in Education, Kathleen Kelly, served as administrative assistant to these coordinators. A Steering Committee, with someone responsible for each of the standards, was then appointed, in addition to the three coordinators. This group included: Professor John Cunningham (Faculty Advisor to the Provost) and Professor Kathy Peiss (History), Associate Chancellor Beverly Wood (Campus Planning), Assistant Vice Chancellor Sara Boy (Student Affairs), Associate Vice Chancellor Joyce Hatch (Budget), Associate Provost Stephen Demski (Outreach), Margo Crist, (Library) Doris Peterson (Information Technologies), Associate Vice Chancellor Patricia VandenBerg (University Advancement) Nigar Khan (Graduate School), Michael Wienberg (Research Affairs). The Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Senate were also each asked to name a representative to the steering committee.