President Caret announces new accountability measure in Chamber speech
Says University wants to "shine a bright light on what we are doing''
BOSTON - The University of Massachusetts will take additional steps to create more accountability and transparency with a new report next year that will measure the University's progress in several key areas and that will be made available to the public online and in booklet form, UMass President Robert L. Caret announced today in remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Executive Forum at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
"For 150 years, UMass has had the singular mission to transform lives through education and research, and to transform our communities and our Commonwealth, and to create a better nation and a better world,'' President Caret told executives at the breakfast. ``We are the research university that wakes up in the morning thinking about how to make Massachusetts a better place in which to live, raise a family, start a business, buy a house, build a career, educate one's children. It is equally important that government and business leaders in the Commonwealth recognize all that we are doing. And this new accountability report is an effort to shine a bright light on what we are doing and how we are doing.''
President Caret has stressed the importance of accountability and transparency since assuming the UMass presidency in July 2011, and the report announced today is central to his effort to give the public a clearer understanding of UMass priorities and performance. President Caret has also highlighted the need for efficiency, particularly in this era of austere budgets and dwindling state financial support. "Ultimately, efficiency and accountability go hand in hand, and we are committed to progress and success in both areas," President Caret said.
The report, to be titled UMass Performance: Accountable and On the Move, will measure the University's performance in six key categories developed and adopted by the University's Board of Trustees: Student Experience and Success, Producing an Educated Citizenry, World Class Research & Development Enterprise, Enhancing Social Well-Being, Good Stewards of Resources, and Telling and Selling the UMass Story.
The six categories will include 21 indicators to measure success, such as the University's ability to improve student retention and graduation rates, pursue efficiencies, increase external fund-raising and alumni-giving, secure funding for major research and development centers, and make it easier for students to transfer within the state's higher education system.
The first report, scheduled for release by spring 2013, will lay out those priorities with reports in subsequent years assessing the University's progress on each key indicator. The report builds on the University's well-established Performance Measurement System, which has monitored the University's performance in various areas and been the go-to source for public data on the UMass system for the past 15 years.
"We already produce reams of data, but this new report is meant to establish key priority areas, to delineate how progress is going to be measured, and to provide the results in a way that will be clear and convenient for any citizen, any parent, anyone from any walk of life,'' President Caret said, adding that the new report will be similar to a report he established in his previous job as president of Towson University in Maryland.
He told business leaders: "The notion of establishing priorities and measuring progress will be very familiar if not foundational to you and, in truth, is becoming foundational to those of us in higher education - and particularly those of us in public higher education who increasingly face the challenge of trying to do more with less.''
He added: "I see this document as a key part of our ongoing efforts to measure our progress in a transparent way, to hold ourselves accountable, and to communicate that progress to the Commonwealth.''
Contact: Ann Scales, 617-287-4084; Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073
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