News: Press Releases

January 29, 2014

President Caret praises Speaker DeLeo for his focus on UMass and commitment to public higher education

  • The UMass System

BOSTON - Jan. 29, 2014: UMass President Robert L. Caret praised House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo for highlighting the importance of public higher education and for singling out UMass Boston student Katie Kaiser when the Speaker today delivered his annual address outlining legislative priorities.

"Speaker DeLeo viscerally understands the importance of affordable, top-quality public higher education and the critical role education plays in improving and transforming lives," President Caret said.

"I want to express my appreciation for Speaker DeLeo's important and insightful comments. In making it clear that the University Massachusetts and the other public colleges and universities will be major priorities as the House moves forward on its legislative agenda, Speaker DeLeo is setting the stage for a better and more prosperous future and is striking a blow for access and affordability," President Caret said.

Ms. Kaiser, who was in the House chamber and was recognized by Speaker DeLeo as he delivered his address, is a business management major at UMass Boston who works and also participates in many campus activities.

Our efforts have made college more affordable for her and many others like her," Speaker DeLeo said in his annual address to the House.

The five-campus UMass system was able to freeze tuition and mandatory fees this year for in-state undergraduate students as a result of a $40 million state funding increase -- the largest increase in the University's history. UMass is seeking a similar increase in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and has said that a comparable increase would bring about a second tuition-and-fee freeze.

"We appreciate the transformational action the state took in this year's budget, an action championed by Speaker DeLeo and supported by the House," President Caret said. "Students and their families across the Commonwealth would benefit from a second consecutive tuition and fee freeze. A second freeze would have an immediate and tangible effect on student- and family-budgets and would help to address the student-debt problem that exists in the Commonwealth and across the nation."

"Speaker DeLeo and the House played a critical role in winning this year's funding increase and consequent tuition and fee freeze, and I am hopeful that the Speaker's leadership and vision will allow us to extend this remarkable accomplishment. Affordable, high-quality public higher education is the key to our social and economic future and is essential to Massachusetts maintaining the leadership position it enjoys in the global economy," President Caret said.

Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073; Ann Scales, 617-287-4084