Feedback Requested: Three Phase II Strategic Planning Reports

To the Campus Community:

Last year, the Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight (JTFSO) completed a Phase I strategic planning report (Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University).
Based on extensive consultation across the campus community, that document laid out strategic goals and priorities to guide decisions in all parts of the campus.

During AY 2013-14, the second phase of the planning process has addressed four topics raised in the Phase I report that required deeper discussion and consultation:

  • The question of “What Should Define a UMass Amherst Undergraduate Education?” has been addressed by a JTFSO subcommittee.
  • Another subcommittee has focused on outreach and community engagement in response to the plan’s call to “carefully consider the best approach to support engagement throughout the institution.”
  • The JTFSO research subcommittee and the Research Council have proposed initial research foci building on UMass Amherst strengths and intersecting with important state, regional and national priorities to help guide early decision-making and investment as the strategic plan is implemented.
  • Exploration of a more intentional, more transparent resource allocation system has been undertaken by a special Joint Task Force on Resource Allocation (JTFRA).

JTFRA has led an extensive discussion of budget allocation systems throughout the spring semester, and a draft report is now available for campus review and feedback. Full information and opportunities for feedback are available on the planning website:

Draft plans in the first three areas listed above are also now available for campus review and feedback. These documents and a feedback blog can be found at:
Comments are also welcome at:

We urge all members of the campus community to share their views on these reports. JTFSO will consider all ideas received and present final versions by the end of the semester, which will then augment the recommendations contained in the Phase I report. There will be various other venues for discussion and feedback, including an open campus forum on Thursday, April 10, at 3:30 p.m. in CC 168. A full schedule is at the above-referenced website. We invite you to keep up with updates on the planning process that will be posted periodically on this website. In particular, a framework for addressing diversity and inclusivity more explicitly as a part of the strategic plan, and a progress report on diversity initiatives, will be posted shortly.

The momentum coming out of Phase I resulted from the willingness of all members of the campus community to participate: in formal planning groups, by sharing ideas, or by discovering new ways to contribute to our common purposes. To the hundreds who have already played a part, and to the many more who will participate going forward, we extend thanks on behalf of the whole community.

Nancy Cohen, Head, Department of Nutrition
Bryan C. Harvey, Associate Provost for Academic and Resource Planning
Amilcar Shabazz, W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies and Faculty Advisor to the Chancellor for Diversity and Excellence
Co-Chairs, Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight