September 11, 2023
Chancellor's Statements

September 11, 2023

Dear Campus Community, 
As I embark on my first academic year as chancellor, setting a vision for our campus is of highest priority. This year we will be developing UMass Amherst’s next strategic plan. 

After a decade of unprecedented success, the strategic planning process will challenge us to consider what’s next and require us to ask ourselves a number of important questions, such as: What do the next five to ten years at UMass Amherst look like? What will be the impact of our scholarship and research? How will we define student success? What will be our contributions to the greater community? What does it mean to be a destination of choice? What does it mean to be a leader in higher education? And how do we stretch ourselves as we continue our upward trajectory? These are big questions and can only be addressed with input from our entire campus community – faculty, students, and staff – to determine.  
Below you will find preliminary details about the strategic planning process, including the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, listening sessions, and timeline.  
Strategic Planning Steering Committee  

Early this fall a Strategic Planning Steering Committee will be formed to lead the strategic planning process. Anne Massey, dean of the Isenberg School of Management, and MJ Peterson, professor of political science, have agreed to serve as co-chairs of the committee. They will work in collaboration with me, campus leadership, and our governance bodies, including SGA, GSS and Faculty Senate, to determine the committee’s membership composition. The steering committee will also be charged with recommending a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning process, which will include the formation of subcommittees around specific focus areas. These focus areas will likely cover topics such as academic excellence; research and innovation; student success; operations and logistics; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Importantly, the formation of both the steering committee and subcommittees will be representative of our campus. If you would like to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on a subcommittee, please send an email to @email
Listening Sessions 

As mentioned in my earlier message to campus, I will be spending the first few months of my tenure listening and learning from all of you. I spent this summer touring campus facilities, visiting departments and offices, and getting to know members of our community.  
This week I begin a series of visits to schools and colleges to learn more about existing school and college strategic visions, aspirations, and goals, and to better understand both opportunities for, and impediments to, success. These presentations will be followed by a robust discussion led by community members within each school or college. The deans will share information about how to participate in these sessions with their students, faculty, and staff. These sessions will also be attended by vice chancellors, the secretary of the Faculty Senate, and student leaders. My role will be to listen.
Strategic planning meetings with our Student Government Association, Graduate Student Senate, and administrative and operational units will follow, as I continue to learn and gain understanding of the vision that our students have for the campus. 
Information gathered from these meetings will be a critical component in the development of our next campus strategic plan. The steering committee will also host additional campus sessions and provide alternative means to solicit, gather, and analyze community input. There will be touch-points for the campus to receive updates on progress made and provide additional feedback. We will strive for inclusion and transparency in every aspect of this important process.  
Timeline for our Strategic Plan 

Our goal is to finalize a strategic plan by the beginning of fall 2024. We will work to the best of our ability to successfully conclude the provost search by April, which will enable our next provost to actively participate in the process to finalize the details, directions, goals, and early stage implementation of our strategic plan.  
As we move through this process, it is my hope that we will find synergies between and within our diverse academic, administrative, and operational areas and coalesce around a shared vision for our campus.  

The strategic planning website provides updates on the plan's progress and ways that you can engage.
We have so much to be proud of, and I am excited to work with you as we strengthen our mission to advance knowledge and provide excellence in education for all who seek a brighter future.  

Chancellor Javier A. Reyes