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The University of Massachusetts (officially nicknamed UMass) is the five-campus public university system of the Commonwealth of Massachusettsmarker.

The system includes UMass Amherst, UMass Bostonmarker, UMass Dartmouthmarker (affiliated with Cape Cod Community Collegemarker), UMass Lowellmarker, and the UMass Medical Schoolmarker. It also has an online school called UMassOnline.


UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst is the flagship and the largest of the UMass campuses, enrolling over 25,000 students. It was also the first campus established. Like many colleges and universities, Massachusetts Agricultural College (as it was called) the Amherst campus was founded as a land-grant college in 1863, receiving initial start-up funding as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. It is part of the Five College consortium in the Pioneer Valley region. It became Massachusetts State College in 1937, and University of Massachusetts in 1947. The library system is the largest state-supported library system in New England with over 5.8 million items. The campus has many architecturally distinctive buildings commissioned by the Commonwealth and designed by world-renowned architects. UMass is also known for its NCAA division I sports teams.

UMass Boston

UMass Boston is a major research university located in the City of Bostonmarker. Located on the Columbia Point peninsula, the University is surrounded by the Boston Harbor, the John F. Kennedy Librarymarker and the Massachusetts State Archives. The Boston Globe is also headquartered adjacent to campus. Subsequently, the university holds many partnerships with its neighboring organizations, providing research and employment opportunities. The university also conducts classes in downtown Boston, Braintree and other outpost locations. UMass Boston has an enrollment of over 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students, making it the second largest campus in the system. UMass Boston boasts larger graduation and retention rates than any of the other campuses.

UMass Dartmouth

Located in southeastern Massachusetts, UMass Dartmouth started in 1895 as the New Bedford Textile School, the Bradford Durfee Textile School and later Southeastern Massachusetts University.

UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell is a comprehensive University with a national reputation in science, engineering, Management and technology, and committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region.

Umass Lowell offers programs in accounting, finance, management, management information systems and marketing, and provide students with a broad range of skills necessary for success.All the management programs are fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the highest level of business school accreditation.

Located in the Merrimack Valley Region, UMass Lowell started in 1894 as the Lowell Normal School (South Campus) and in 1895 as the Lowell Textile School (North Campus).

UMass Medical

Located in Worcester, Massachusettsmarker, UMass Medical was founded in 1962 and is affiliated with the UMass Memorial Health Care system.

University President

From 1996 to 2003, the President of the University was William Bulger, president of the Massachusetts State Senate for seventeen years, and prominent and influential Democratic politician with roots in South Boston. Bulger became involved in court testimony about his notorious brother, Whitey Bulger. He was forced to resign after a sustained campaign for his ouster by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The President of the University from the Fall of 2004 has been Jack M. Wilson, former CEO of UMassOnline and interim President of the University after the departure of William Bulger.. For his work at UMassOnline, Mr. Wilson was inducted into the United States Distance Learning Association Hall of Fame in October 2004.

Board of Trustees

The University of Massachusetts is governed by a lay Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees functions as a legislative body dealing mainly with questions of policy. The Board is not an administrative or management board. In certain rare instances when required by the Massachusetts General Laws, it may function as an appeal body. The Board establishes the general policies governing the University, but has delegated many powers to the President and, through the President, to campus administrators for day-to-day-operations.

Composition of the Board

The founding Board had fourteen appointed members and four ex officio members. Formerly, Trustees were appointed by the Legislature or the Board itself; currently, members are appointed by the Governor. The size of the Board has fluctuated between twelve and twenty-four members. The current Board is composed of nineteen voting members and three ex officio non-voting members. Seventeen Board members are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth; at least five of those appointed must be alumni of the University and one must be a representative of organized labor. The other two voting members are students.

Overall, the board has five student members, elected for one-year terms, from the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester campuses. Voting membership rotates among the campuses: two students are voting members and three others are ex officio non-voting members.

Current Board

Trustees Student Trustees
  • Robert J. Manning, Exp. 2011 (Chair)
  • James J. Karam, Exp. 2009 (Vice Chair)
  • Ruben J. King-Shaw, Jr., Exp. 2010 (Vice Chair)
  • Matthew E. Carlin, Exp. 2009
  • Janet D. Pearl, M.D., Exp. 2009
  • Lawrence F. Boyle, J.D., Exp. 2011
  • Jennifer C. Braceras, J.D., Exp. 2011
  • Richard J. Lawton, J.D., Exp. 2011
  • Kenneth A. MacAfee, II, D.M.D., Exp. 2011
  • Stephen P. Tocco, Exp. 2011
  • Edward W. Collins, Jr., Exp. 2012
  • Philip W. Johnston, Exp. 2012
  • Henry M. Thomas, III, J.D., exp. 2012
  • John A. DiBiaggio, D.D.S., Exp. 2013
  • Kerri Osterhaus-Houle, M.D., Exp. 2013
  • Paul Reville, Secretary of Education, Exp. \infty
  • Emily Bloch, UMass Amherst (Non-Voting Student)
  • Tara-Jean DeSisto, UMass Boston (Non-Voting Student)
  • David Koffman, UMass Lowell (Voting Student)
  • Matthew Hoyt, UMass Dartmouth (Non-Voting Student)
  • James Young, UMass Medical (Voting Student)

Notable alumni

Listed in alphabetical order


"U-Mass" is also the name of a song by the Pixies off their album Trompe le Monde. It was named after the university where band member Frank Black attended (but dropped out).

Before the UMass Amherst mascot was the Minutemen it was the Redmen. but because this name had the potential to offend Native American groups, the mascot was changed in the 1970s. The UMass Lowell mascot was changed from the Chiefs to the River Hawks in the mid-1990s for the same reason.


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