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.
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.
A Vision for the Future: 2018-2023 Campus Strategic Plan
Establish UMass Amherst as a community of choice for students, staff, and faculty that exemplifies the power of diverse perspectives and mutual respect. Visit the Strategic Plan Website.
I. Build a more Inclusive Campus Community: Action Steps
Continue and enhance recruitment strategies that increase the diversity of the graduate and undergraduate student body, the faculty, and staff in all aspects, e.g., geographic, racial, cultural, socioeconomic, disability status, and gender identity.
Demonstrate that UMass Amherst is a welcoming destination for people of all backgrounds and develop a robust communication strategy.
Assess and address barriers to the retention and success of students, faculty, and staff.
Incorporate into our curriculum the study of arts, literature, and society that represents the full range of human experience.
II. Improve Campus Climate: Action Steps
Provide tools and training opportunities for all faculty and staff to become adept at working in a diverse and inclusive environment, whether inside or outside the classroom, with colleagues, and with the general public.
Improve and utilize curricular, co- and extracurricular opportunities to enhance student development and success in a diverse, inclusive environment.
Ensure that the allocation and utilization of resources and services provided reflect institutional commitment to the support and success of all members of the community and address concerns of discrimination and unfair treatment.
Establish UMass Amherst as a workplace of choice through progressive and accountable human resource and grievance policies that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity.
III. Organize for Success: Action Steps
Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of resources, services, and administrative processes in fostering a climate of inclusion.
Provide incentives and seed funding to catalyze diversity and equity initiatives.
Make diversity outcomes part of the regular responsibility and accountability of administrators.
Ensure the inclusion of underserved communities in the university’s outreach and engagement efforts.