2022 President's Report

2022 President's Report

As I reflect on the past year, I am especially proud of the University of Massachusetts, its mission, and the impact UMass has had on hundreds of thousands of lives – my own, included.

I enrolled at what is now UMass Lowell in 1974, so for nearly 50 years, I have marveled at this university’s ability to transform lives and be an educational and economic engine in every region of the Commonwealth.

Over the past 50 years, the scale of the UMass mission of education, research and service has grown in ways that are almost unimaginable. This epic growth is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our UMass students, faculty, staff and leadership, past and present. We have also benefited from the support of state government, the business community -- and many other good friends.

UMass family and friends have banded together to build the five-campus system that today serves 74,000 students and each year:

  • Awards 18,000 degrees
  • Conducts $752 million in research
  • Injects more than $7.5 billion into the Massachusetts economy

Because of our achievements and because of you, we were recently named the top public university in New England in the Times Higher Education rankings. Not for the second or third time, but for the 9th year in a row.

While Massachusetts is blessed with many fine colleges and universities, no other higher education institution drives the Commonwealth like UMass. Of our 530,000 alumni, 330,000 live right here in Massachusetts – that’s roughly 1 in 20 residents with a UMass degree.

More than 80 percent of our undergraduate students come from Massachusetts. Four out of 10 are students of color. And the state’s innovation and technology future is being created at UMass today, with nearly one third of our students preparing to earn degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Looking back at 2022, I see a period of great success. I believe that UMass has been true to its mission in every respect. The university’s accomplishments and activities were impressive and wide-ranging.

Research Growth

Our $752 million research portfolio makes us a national leader, but it’s important to know that UMass research helps to drive the state’s innovation economy and targets some of the world’s most serious concerns. Covid-19, cancer and other deadly diseases, and the global climate crisis are among the problems we are taking on.

Civic Engagement

Our nation continues to face a profound crisis as discord tears at our social fabric. Democracy itself seems to be under siege. During the past year, the UMass community at all levels has mounted a non-partisan effort to encourage electoral participation and active citizenship. As a public university, we have a special obligation to stand up for democracy.

Workforce Development

Mindful of our original Land-Grant mission of providing citizens with the skills they need to be successful, we were delighted to put a 21st century spin on that mission through a new initiative with our UMass Global online education program and the Mass General Brigham hospital network, which is designed to prepare people for front-line health-care employment.

Early College

Ever alert to opportunities to expand educational opportunity and make higher education affordable, we are pleased to be participating in the Baker-Polito Administration’s Early College pilot program. This $2 million initiative is aimed at significantly increasing the number of underrepresented students taking college courses while still in high school.

Supporting Life Science

Earlier this year, I was very pleased to join with top leaders from government, higher education and industry to urge that a new federally funded research center called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) be located in Massachusetts. The agency was created by the Biden-Harris Administration to accelerate high-impact research focusing on cancer, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and many other health challenges that together affect a significant number of Americans. A handful of states across the nation are pitching to house ARPA-H. I might be biased, but it seems to me that Massachusetts would be the perfect choice.

Advocating for Higher Ed's Mission

In June, I was honored to deliver a keynote address at the EduVentures Summit 2022, where 500 senior leaders from 400 colleges and universities across the country gathered to discuss higher education’s opportunities and challenges – and how we have to fight for a better future.


Finally, when I think about the success this university has enjoyed, many factors contribute, but one of the key ingredients is strong leadership. No leader does it on their own, but great leaders are indispensable to the success and growth of complex organizations like the University of Massachusetts. This year, we welcomed leaders I know will serve us well:

Mary is the first woman to lead the UMass Building Authority. While Steve, Julie and Mary are taking on new leadership positions, all three have long records of service at UMass.

Amherst Chancellorship

In July, the Board of Trustees launched a nationwide search looking ahead to UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy's impending departure. Swamy, as he is known, will step down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year. Given all that Chancellor Subbaswamy has accomplished during his 11 years of transformational service, the university has very big shoes to fill, indeed.

Two stalwart leaders and dear friends stepped down from key positions in 2022.

Jacquie Moloney, who has served as chancellor of UMass Lowell since 2015, ended her nearly four decades of distinguished service to the campus. Jacquie’s wisdom and expertise was matched only by her passion for UMass Lowell and its students.

We also said a grateful goodbye to a Board of Trustees chair who inspired us all, as Robert Manning completed his two terms of service as a trustee.

Rob will be remembered for his caring and deft leadership of the Board of Trustees. Rob and his wife Donna Manning, both graduates of UMass Lowell, have also taken their place among the most generous donors in UMass history -- in 2021 alone giving $50 million to support access, opportunity and excellence on all five campuses.

Rob and Donna represent UMass and public higher education at its best. As first-generation college graduates who achieved professional success and had a real impact on lives throughout their careers, they are now giving back to their alma mater in a truly profound way. They make us very proud. They are UMass.

None of these achievements would be possible without the enduring dedication of our UMass students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters. To all members of our community, I thank you for all that you did for the University of Massachusetts over the course of this year.


Martin T. Meehan signature

Marty Meehan
President, University of Massachusetts

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