Overview of the University of Massachusetts Amherst

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Table of Contents


The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst became one of the five public institutions of higher learning in the UMass system in 1991 in accordance with Chapter 75 of the Massachusetts General Laws. UMass is led by a president who oversees the UMass system and by a chancellor at each campus. It is also governed by a board of trustees composed of 22 members, 17 of whom are appointed by the Governor for five-year terms and 5 of whom are UMass students elected by the student body for one-year terms. The board shapes general policies that govern all five UMass campuses.

As the administrative head of the university, the chancellor of UMass Amherst reports to the president and is supported by a provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, a deputy chancellor and chief planning officer, a director of Athletics, an associate chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, a vice chancellor for Information Services and Strategy and chief information officer, a vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life, a vice chancellor for University Relations, a vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations and executive director of the UMass Amherst Foundation, a vice chancellor for Research and Engagement, and a vice chancellor for Administration and Finance.

According to the UMass website,

The University’s mission is to provide an affordable and accessible education of high quality and to conduct programs of research and public service that advance knowledge and improve the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

UMass Amherst is a member of the Massachusetts public higher-education system, which consists of 15 community colleges, 9 state universities, and 5 UMass campuses. For the fall 2016 academic semester, UMass Amherst had a total enrollment of 30,037 students: 23,373 undergraduate and 6,664 graduate students. UMass Amherst employs approximately 1,300 full-time instructional faculty members.

UMass Procurement Card Program

The President’s Office and each of the UMass system’s campuses administer a procurement card (Procard) program. The use of Procards simplifies the purchasing process for routine expenditures. According to the university’s Procard User Guide,

The Procard is designed to be used for purchases of consumable supplies and select services related to University business only. Use of the card for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. [Emphasis in original.]

Each month, Procard users are required to reconcile purchases made during the month to their cards’ monthly statements from Citibank, UMass Amherst’s Procard vendor. These reconciliations and the supporting documentation are reviewed and signed by the required approvers. During the audit period, 3,157 Procards were available for use by university department heads and other authorized employees; the cards allowed cardholders to purchase approximately $30 million of goods and services.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 provides civil-rights protections and requires equal opportunities for people with disabilities. According to Section 12102(1) of the act, a disability is one of the following:

(A)  a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities . . .

(B)  a record of such an impairment; or

(C)  being regarded as having such an impairment.

The statute specifically prohibits discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

UMass Amherst has established policies to assist students with disabilities by providing reasonable accommodations through services and programs. Disability Services staff members provide assistance through the university’s Disability Services Center.

Date published: October 29, 2018