Retired Faculty Association

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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  Welcome to the Retired Faculty Association

The aims of the Retired Faculty Association are:

• To facilitate constructive contributions by its members to the University;
• To ascertain the relevant needs of retired faculty and to communicate this information to the administration; and
• To promote social and intellectual interaction among its members.

All retired faculty members and librarians are eligible for Active Membership with full voting rights. Retired faculty members and librarians living outside the Amherst area, retired faculty members and librarians of other colleges or universities, and widows or widowers of persons who were eligible for Active or Associate Membership, may become Associate Members upon payment of Associate Member dues. Spouses of Active or Associate Members qualify as Associate members without payment of dues.

This site aims to provide useful information to retired faculty through the links on the menu at left. If you have suggestions for types of information you would like to find here contact us at

Featured News

September 10, 2014 Meeting Agenda
Campus Center 162
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee, Tea and Cookies  
10:30 - 11:00 Business meeting and Announcements -Reports on activities of past year and the current status of the Association.
-Nominations and voting for the position of Secretary.
-Plans for 2014-15 and a special reception for new retirees.
11:00 - 12:00 Professor Emeritus Rutherford Platt
Geography Department
Reclaiming American Cities: The Struggle for Humane Urbanism Since Olmsted

Rutherford Platt
Professor Emeritus
Geography Department

Frederick Law Olmsted pioneered the idea now called "humane urbanism"--namely that cities are not simply economic engines to enrich the few, but must also serve and sustain all their inhabitants. In 1870, for instance, he proudly wrote that Central Park was enjoyed by "vast numbers of people brought together closely, poor and rich, young and old, Jew and Gentile." By 1900, Olmsted's holistic perspective was divided between two competing branches of urban progressivism: 1) the City Beautiful Movement which largely served the interests of wealthy "haves" and 2) the Settlement House Movement representing the needs of poor "have-nots." Thus began the century-long struggle between top-down and bottom-up urban initiatives. Around 1990, after a century of dominance by top-down, establishment-driven policies, the interests of local communities, neighborhoods, and diverse constituencies started to gain traction encouraged by the Smart Growth movement and some simply homegrown movements––such as shoring up older neighborhoods, reviving parks, expanding bike paths, restoring urban streams and waterfronts, growing food and creating farmers' markets, and resisting gentrification. Humane urbanism makes everyday habitats more bearable and local residents more connected to one another and to natural phenomena in their midst. . . .We may assume that Olmsted would be delighted!


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