UMass Amherst Chancellor David Scott Issues Statement on Recent Sit-In at Goodell

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Chancellor David K. Scott issued the following statement today regarding last week’s student sit-in of Goodell Building:

"I have great faith in the University’s management team and stand behind the agreed-upon settlement. I am especially pleased that procedures have been established that will allow us to do a better job in involving students in the budget and planning process, and that will keep open the lines of communication between the administration and students.

"A number of large, complex issues are involved here, and, as is generally the case in these matters, things shift and changes occur. Events such as those of last week make us sharpen and recrystalize our focus.

"I especially support this institution’s commitment to continuing to increase financial aid through both our budget process and through Campaign UMass. For us to have increased campus-provided scholarship money from $1.5 million in 1990 to more than $10 million this year itself proves our commitment to low-income students.

"I am also proud of our record in terms of issues of diversity on campus. I support our goal of increasing students of color to 20 percent - a percentage that is close to the percentage of students of color who graduate from high schools in the commonwealth.

"I believe that our long-time, often-stated goal of attaining 20 percent non-white students is socially and educationally responsible in light of demographic projections that indicate 25 percent of the nation’s population is non-white and nearly 20 percent of the Massachusetts high school population is non-white, and both are going up. If predictions are accurate, by the year 2000 one-third of the nation’s population will be non-white.

"Our goal, as a land-grant institution, is to serve the commonwealth - and the nation - and to be socially and educationally responsive to many diverse needs. I look forward to the challenges ahead, and to working together - faculty, staff, and students - to continuing the real work of this campus, that of developing more complete and integrative human beings, and, through them, to creating a better, wiser world."

The chancellor also said: "I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of dedicated staff, faculty, and students whose work was disrupted by this event. They continued to carry on the work of the University under difficult circumstances.

"With regard to the issues surrounding this demonstration, there is no fundamental disagreement on the overall objectives of the students and the administration - that of achieving a more diverse and socially just University - although there are differences over the strategies for reaching that goal.

"Given this agreement, it should not be necessary to disrupt the lives and activities of the employees of the University in order to engage in a discussion of the issues, and I hope that we all will work towards this end in the months and years ahead."