The University of Massachusetts Amherst

College Updates

Renowned Scholar, Alasdair Roberts, Named Director of the School of Public Policy

Professor Roberts is an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of governance, law, and policy. He most recently served as Professor of Public Affairs at the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri.  He also holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Law and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Political Science at the University of Missouri. Prior to this, Roberts was a member of the public administration faculty of Queen’s University in Canada (1990 to 2001), and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (2001 to 2008). He was also the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University from 2008 to 2014.

Roberts will officially step into the role on September 1, 2017. Stan Rosenberg, President of the Massachusetts Senate, lauded this appointment, stating "In this political environment, we need all hands on deck to help people understand more and more about how our government works and how good public policy is developed. The appointment of Dr. Roberts brings new vision and energy to this critical work." 


The New Design Building Opens Its Doors

With its structure and mechanical systems purposefully exposed, the new Design Building is open as both a showcase of integrated design and a model of integrative learning. The $52 million, 82,000-square-foot structure demonstrates state-of-the-art wood construction technology while serving as home to landscape architecture and regional planning, architecture and the building construction technology program.

The most distinctive aspects of this building are its cutting-edge features and technology as well as its sustainable architecture and landscape design. The facility was built with innovative wood construction technologies where the structural system includes heavy engineered timber and cross-laminated shear walls. These panels are several inches thick and made from alternating layers of wood making them extremely strong and durable yet light weight. Using wood also dramatically lessens the building’s carbon footprint.

Photo credit: Albert Vecerka / Esto


SBS Job Shadowing Program Debuts

This past winter break, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst conducted its first ever “SBS Shadows” program. This program provides a one-day job shadowing experience that gives students the opportunity to spend time with alumni or other hosts in their places of work. Students and hosts register to participate, and the SBS Career Center pairs students with hosts in their fields of interest.

Twenty-three alumni hosted 34 students. After the day of shadowing, we followed up with students and hosts to see how they fared. 85% of the students said they’d definitely like to participate in this program again, with 100% of them saying they’d recommend it to a friend. Many students said this opportunity furthered their interest in their field.


UMass Amherst Celebrates Economics Department’s New, Net-Zero Crotty Hall

The University of Massachusetts Amherst department of economics has opened Crotty Hall, a new 16,800-square-foot net-zero-energy building housing 35 offices and four conference rooms.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 22, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy said the “stunningly beautiful” building advances the university’s national recognition for it commitment to sustainability.

Designed by architect Sigrid Miller Pollin of the UMass Amherst architecture department and built with a $10 million grant from an anonymous donor, the building is designed to produce as much energy as it consumes and as such would be the first net-zero building on campus. It will use about one-fifth the energy of the average office building in this climate.