UMass Amherst has several core values articulated in the Joint Task Force for Strategic Oversight's Phase I Report, Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University (2014). These values speak to the campus’s enduring commitment to forming and strengthening “socially just learning and working environments that foster a culture of excellence through diverse people, ideas, and perspectives.”:
- Social progress and social justice. UMass Amherst has a profound legacy of and commitment to social justice, extending across generations and spanning disciplines. We accept for ourselves and instill in our students the ongoing commitment to create a better, more just world.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness. By embracing diverse people, ideas, and perspectives we create a vibrant learning and working environment. Breaking down barriers to meaningful participation fosters a sense of belonging and treats all individuals with dignity and respect. In this environment we work toward an equitable society in which all enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
- Opportunity. A corollary to inclusiveness is opportunity, a commitment to welcoming all those who share our aspirations and high standards of performance.
The Diversity Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed (in Spring 2014) to articulate a comprehensive and clearly-articulated diversity-oriented strategy to match our commitment. The resulting 2015 Diversity Strategic Plan outlined five major goals to realize the promise of a culturally diverse campus.
- Establish UMass Amherst as a destination of choice for students of color and other underrepresented groups.
- Improve the campus climate of inclusion.
- Enhance effectiveness of curriculum and educational programs with regard to diversity and inclusion.
- Increase focus on recruiting, retention, and promotion of diverse faculty and staff.
- Increase outreach and engagement with external communities/schools with large proportions of underrepresented minorities.