2021 President's Report


We began this academic year with a return to relative normalcy on our campuses, as 75,000 hardworking students and 18,000 faculty and staff returned to classrooms, residence halls, research labs and offices across the state. While the safety of our community continues to remain our top priority, UMass has continued to achieve. All of us at UMass have been focused on ensuring that our university leads the Commonwealth’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

On September 1, UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Rob Manning and his wife Donna Manning announced a record-setting $50 million gift to the University of Massachusetts, the largest such gift in university history. A week later, the university announced a $175 million donation from The Morningside Foundation which more than doubled the medical school’s endowment and saw it renamed as the UMass Chan Medical School. Then, UMass Amherst’s College of Nursing received a $21.5 million gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation, which was the largest gift in UMass Amherst history.

Robert and Donna Manning make record-setting $50 million gift

Robert and Donna Manning announced the largest cash gift to the university - $50 million. Initial distributions support UMass Boston’s nursing and health sciences programs, “computing for the common good” at UMass Amherst, and business faculty recruitment at UMass Lowell.

University of Massachusetts announces $175 million transformational gift to its Medical School

The University of Massachusetts announced a history-making $175 million donation from The Morningside Foundation to UMass Medical School. The transformational gift is unrestricted and will more than double the Medical School’s endowment.

College of Nursing at UMass Amherst receives $21.5 million gift from Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation

The University of Massachusetts Amherst announced that it has received a gift of $21.5 million from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation. The university’s College of Nursing will become the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, named for the late UMass Amherst nursing alumna and bestselling textbook author Elaine Nicpon Marieb.

In total, UMass raised a quarter of a billion dollars in major private gifts just this Fall. The impact of this generosity will be profound and it highlights the impact that the University of Massachusetts provides. Our mission and especially our students are worthy of such investment. The philanthropic community has said loudly and clearly that they agree.

As we constantly seek innovative ways to serve, we have made significant leaps in our commitment to adult learners through an expanded online footprint. In September, we announced the establishment of UMass Global, our nonprofit affiliate that will deliver high-quality, student-centered, flexible educational programs online.

UMass, Chapman U. announce transfer of Brandman U. to establish UMass Global

The University of Massachusetts and Chapman University announced the transfer of control of Brandman University to UMass. This newly finalized affiliation officially launches UMass Global, a nonprofit affiliate of UMass that will deliver expanded online education opportunities to adult learners across the nation and around the globe.

We began the year the same way that we ended the last, with UMass making significant contributions to the statewide fight against COVID-19. This year, UMass campuses played an enormous role in one of the largest vaccination efforts in history and they continue to do so.

In partnership with our chancellors, their teams, and our Board of Trustees, we have effectively managed through the pandemic with our academic, research and financial strengths intact. In fact, our efficiency and effectiveness initiatives realized savings of more than $125 million since FY11, with our newly formed Unified Procurement Services Team saving $26.9 million over its first 12 months (And $33.9 million to-date). We have positioned the university to play a major role in driving renewal and recovery across the Commonwealth.

The bottom line on 2021: UMass graduated nearly 19,000 students in the Spring, our research portfolio reached a record-high of $687 million, and we increased institutional financial aid to its highest level ever. UMass Amherst made history with their first-ever NCAA Ice Hockey National Championship. We identified and selected a world-class individual with a track record of success to lead UMass Dartmouth and appointed an exceptional leader to serve as Presidential Advisor for Equity and Inclusion.

UMass celebrates nearly 19,000 graduates this spring

Nearly 19,000 students received degrees from the University of Massachusetts during a combination of in-person and online ceremonies.

UMass research reaches record high $687M

Despite the onset of the coronavirus, the University of Massachusetts conducted a record-breaking $687 million of research in Fiscal Year 2020, according to a report released at a March meeting of the UMass Board of Trustees Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. The university’s annual research portfolio has increased by 9.2%, or $55 million, since FY16, according to the FY2020 UMass Research & Expenditures Report.

UMass Amherst Minutemen make history with first NCAA Ice Hockey National Championship

University of Massachusetts hockey controlled play from start to finish and rolled to a 5-0 shutout of St. Cloud State to capture the 2021 Division I Men's Hockey NCAA Championship at PPG Paints Arena, the first in program history.

Mark Fuller named UMass Dartmouth Chancellor

Dr. Mark Fuller, who had served as interim chancellor of UMass Dartmouth since January, was named permanent chancellor on August 9. Dr. Fuller had served in the interim capacity since January, following nine years as dean of the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management, which rose to national prominence under his leadership, and three years as UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

Nefertiti Walker appointed Equity and Inclusion Advisor

Dr. Walker currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UMass Amherst and will continue to serve in that capacity as she advises President Meehan on university, state, and national issues; works with campuses to prepare system-wide annual updates to the Board of Trustees; convenes meetings of campus chief diversity officers; and develops strategic priorities for the President’s Office aimed at achieving Board of Trustees goals.

As we enter 2022, we know there will be more challenges requiring us to innovate and adapt. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure that next year is one of inspiring learning, discovery and service for us all.


Marty Meehan

Marty Meehan
President, University of Massachusetts