March 12, 2014

New report rates UMass performance

  • The UMass System

First annual report lists priorities, assesses progress
                                                                                       
The University of Massachusetts today released its first annual performance measurement report that uses a rating system to assess the University's progress in achieving 21 goals across six priority areas, ranging from the experiences of its students to the impact of its research to how well it manages its finances.

UMass President Robert L. Caret announced the release of ``UMass Performance: Accountable and on the Move'' via a videotaped message posted on the University's website, www.massachusetts.edu, where the report and supporting material also can be found.

>> Read the full report

``This report represents our commitment to convey our story of priorities and progress in a way that is accessible to citizens across the Commonwealth,'' President Caret said in the videotaped message. ``We believe we have a clear duty to provide this information to the taxpayers who help to fund UMass, to parents who look to UMass for affordable, high-quality education for their sons and daughters, to our partners in government and business, to our graduates and students, faculty and staff - in short, to anyone who has a stake and interest in the University of Massachusetts.''

UMass Performance is a 10-page booklet that outlines the 21 goals set within the six key categories. Each goal is rated on the basis of whether the University has made Excellent, Good, Some or Limited Progress in achieving the goal, when current performance is compared to the three-year trend. The ratings reflect the current state of the five-campus UMass system as a whole, rather than the performance of individual campuses. Of the 21 performance goals, the University was found to be making Excellent Progress on three, Good Progress on 14 and Some Progress on the other four goals. No goal received a Limited Progress rating.

The six categories that make up the 21 goals are: Student Experience & Success; Educated Workforce & Engaged Citizenry; World-Class Research & Development Enterprise; Enhanced Social Well-Being; Good Stewards of Resources; and Telling & Selling the UMass Story.

To develop the ratings presented in the report, a system-wide working group comprised of senior officials from the five campuses and the President's Office met nearly two dozen times over a seven-month period and evaluated campus and system data relevant to more than 400 metrics. Ultimately, the working group made ratings recommendations to the President and the Chancellors, who reviewed the findings and affirmed the group's recommendations.

UMass Performance is the latest addition to a series of published reports that provide data and describe the University's performance. The Report on Annual Indicators has been used to monitor the University's performance in a variety of key areas for more than 15 years and has been the primary source for public data on the UMass system. UMass also publishes annual reports on enrollment, faculty research, financial performance, student financial aid and other areas. UMass Performance, the first UMass system accountability report that rates performance, is similar to a report that President Caret established at Towson University in Maryland, where he served as president before joining UMass in July 2011.

``Our new report is intended to spur performance by establishing clear goals and priorities - goals that we believe are important for our University and for the Commonwealth,'' President Caret said in the video. ``Just as we take our mission of education, research and public service very seriously, we are also committed to being transparent and accountable. We are serious about the need to tell people who we are, what we have accomplished and where we are going.''

Henry M. Thomas III, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, said that the UMass Performance report is evidence of the University's renewed focus on greater accountability and transparency. ``This new report represents a significant attempt to provide the public with a better understanding of the University's goals and priorities and its performance in some very important areas,'' he said. ``I commend the President, the Chancellors and everyone involved in this effort. I believe it is a critical step as we seek to build on all that has been achieved and to make the University of Massachusetts an even more indispensable asset for the citizens of the Commonwealth.''

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