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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Undergraduate School

Mailing Address
243 Whitmore Admin. Building
181 Presidents Dr
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
Phone
(413) 545-0111
School Information
"UMass Amherst is one of the major public research universities in America. Nestled in idyllic Amherst, Massachusetts, the campus is consistently ranked among the top public research universities in the nation, and offers a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers." The university enrolls over 31,600 students, employs over 1,400 full-time faculty, and offers 110 bachelor's degree programs, five associate's, 79 master’s and 48 doctoral programs. (Source: https://www.umass.edu/gateway/about) (Source: https://www.umass.edu/gateway/about/umass-glance)
General Information
The university has been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racist initiatives. The university has sponsored programming including "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution" and a podcast called "The Black Experience Series." It has also featured art and research projects focused on DEI. No mandatory Critical Race Training sessions are yet required of students. However, see developments below:

Actions Taken

Admissions Policies
  • The University's "2018-2023 Campus Strategic Plan" states that it would "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."
Anti-Racism, Bias, and Diversity Training
  • The University's "2018-2023 Campus Strategic Plan" states that it would "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."
  • In 2020, the University's College of Natural Sciences hosted a microaggression workshop for students and faculty that explained the "concepts of implicit bias, microaggressions, and stereotype threat and how they impact learning environments."
  • The University's Office of the Provost offers faculty development and diversity programs through the "National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity" and the "Faculty Success Fellows Program."
  • The University's Office of the Provost provides faculty recruitment training and includes "DPC/CPC Training" which is described as follows: "This new initiative is a form of applied implicit bias training intended to address the particular challenges of the faculty evaluation process and develop strategies to counteract bias. The workshop builds on the STRIDE faculty recruitment trainings that have been offered to address bias in recruitment."
Curriculum Changes and Requirements
  • As part of the Bachelor’s degree requirements, all students must take 2 Diversity courses.
  • Based on the Dean's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum Challenge, the college of engineering is asking every faculty to submit a DEI lesson plan that is being taught to students.
  • UMass College of Humanities & Fine Arts lists its courses related to diversity and racial justice and state that the college is "Responding to calls from our students and the larger campus community to strengthen and expand anti-racist and social justice curriculum and pedagogy."
  • UMass College of Humanities & Fine Arts lists its Spring 2023 courses related to "environmental humanities" and social justice.
Disciplinary Measures
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion at UMass has a "Climate Incident Report Form" and states, "By reporting incidents that have negatively impacted you, others, or the community, and/or are contrary to the University of Massachusetts values and codes of conduct, you are making a valuable contribution in helping to maintain the integrity and safety of the campus community as a whole."
Program and Research Funding
  • On September 27, 2021, the Chancellor expanded on the “ongoing commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion with additional initiatives and programs including the Black Joy, Black Healing and Black Justice Forum, launching the Black Advisory Council and increasing the funding for the Center of Racial Justice (CRJ).
  • The University's "2018-2023 Campus Strategic Plan" states that it would "Provide incentives and seed funding to catalyze diversity and equity initiatives."
  • The Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research at UMass College of Education "centers Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the work of racial and educational justice through community-school-university partnerships."
Re-Imagining Policing
  • On June 3, 2020, in response to acts of racism on campus and nationally, the Chief Diversity Officer stated that "UMPD [UMass Police Department] is committed to participating, as part of our community, in any training, seminar or effort to increase levels of understanding, prevention and responsiveness to critical issues like the ones we continue to see play out across our country."
Resources
  • For Black History Month, the university has sponsored programming including "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution" and a podcast called "The Black Experience Series."
  • The university also recently featured a fine arts exhibit, the online gallery, “Breathing While Black,” which "represents an international response to the recent and ongoing killing of Black Americans."
  • The university also recently showcased research on "understanding of interracial contact and communication about inequality."
  • The Committee Against Racism and for Equity (CARE) is hosting a monthly Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Series.
  • The Center for Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research at the university is hosting a program in Spring of 2022 on “White Allies Against Racism: How to be a co-conspirator for racial justice” where students are asked to “fight racism every day by unlearning whiteness” and understand their “complicity in white supremacy.”
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst provides numerous Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Resources including Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Anti-Racist.
  • The university has numerous academic departments and centers that have diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion at UMass Amherst has numerous diversity, equity and inclusion events scheduled throughout the year, including a cookout for Black Justice as well as many talks and discussions.
  • On June 3, 2020, in response to acts of racism on campus and nationally, the Chief Diversity Officer at UMass announced the creation of "The Task Force for Anti-racism" which would be a "collection of faculty, staff and students who will work to undo institutional racism in our community."
Symbolic Actions
  • University Professor Nilanjana Dasgupta was “appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Anti-racism, Diversity. Equity, and Inclusion in STEM Organizations.”
  • In July 2021, the Department of Theater in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at the university released their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Anti-Racist Roadmap listing progress on recent initiatives including the creation of the Anti-Racism Committee.
  • On January 25, 2022, Associate Professor at UMass Amherst was quoted in a tweet by Ibram X. Kendi in reference to a recent university poll in favor of critical race theory being taught to children.
Last updated April 21st, 2023
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