Photo of UMass President Jack M. Wilson

Letter from the President

“Never has our commitment to academic distinction and affordability been greater. In 2009, UMass spent $97.2 million of its own resources on financial aid, meeting 92 percent of Massachusetts students’ estimated financial need. UMass students received more than $500 million in aid from all sources.” – UMass President Jack M. Wilson

The past year, 2009, will be remembered as one in which the University again set records in numbers of applications, quality of students, research expenditures, commercialization of intellectual property, and endowment. Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated and experienced leadership team, we have navigated effectively through the year’s economic challenges and are proud of our many successes—most importantly, providing continued access to high-quality, affordable education for the Commonwealth’s most powerful sustainable resource: our students.

The UMass system is an education and innovation enterprise—the Commonwealth’s most prolific public research resource—with nearly $500 million in research expenditures. Across the entire system in Fiscal 2009, UMass generated $73 million in intellectual property income—a record performance that is expected to put UMass among the nation’s top 10 universities in intellectual property income when national results are next published.

Never has our commitment to academic distinction and affordability been greater. In Fiscal 2009, UMass spent $97.2 million of its own resources on financial aid, meeting 92 percent of Massachusetts students’ estimated financial need. UMass students received more than $500 million in aid from all sources. The need has never been higher. Since I have been President, we have grown our own investment in financial aid from $36 million to $138 million—an increase of 283%.

UMass stands at the forefront of the most important issues of our day. Students and faculty are engaged in research that leads to breakthroughs in medical treatments, economic development, and clean energy. In an increasingly interconnected and competitive world, the University is supporting global initiatives and programs, recruiting international students and faculty, and working with partners to provide study abroad opportunities, service learning projects, and internships. We continue to build and maintain the 21st century facilities that our students and faculty need and deserve.

In spite of declining endowments nationwide, the University of Massachusetts turned in a record performance in Fiscal 2009, ranking in the top quartile of American colleges and universities reporting for one-, three-, and five-year returns, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. We are deeply grateful to our donors who have made gifts to the endowment, and to our investment committee, a talented group of alumni, parents, and friends who are accomplished investment professionals working on behalf of our University.

As you may know, I have announced that I will leave the Presidency when my term ends in June 2011 to return to my teaching and research. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a steward of this great University. It has also been a joy to work on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff of the University. I would like to express my gratitude to the many other friends of UMass—elected officials, parents, and community leaders—who have done so much to sustain and advance the University. We continue to count on your support and advocacy as we work to reach our shared objectives for the University and the Commonwealth.

Image of Jack M. Wilson's Signature
Jack M. Wilson, Ph.D.
President