Overview of University of Massachusetts Boston

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

Table of Contents


The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston is a member of the Massachusetts public higher-education system, which consists of 15 community colleges, nine state universities, and five UMass campuses. In 1964, UMass Boston became one of the five public institutions of higher learning in the UMass system 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 UMass campus. It is also governed by a board of trustees composed of 22 members: 17 members appointed by the Governor for five-year terms and 5 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 campus, the chancellor1 of UMass Boston reports to the president and is supported by a deputy chancellor, a provost, and several vice chancellors. According to its website, UMass Boston “is a public research university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement.”

As of fall 2018, UMass Boston had a total enrollment of 16,164 students: 12,714 undergraduate and 3,450 graduate students. As of March 31, 2019, it had approximately 3,734 employees.

According to Section 7 of Chapter 75 of the General Laws, “The [UMass system] trustees shall prepare and submit a detailed budget in such form and manner as the governor, secretary and general court may direct.” For fiscal year 2018, UMass Boston had an operating budget of approximately $431.1 million in revenue and $436.1 million in expenses, with a deficit of $5.0 million. For fiscal year 2019, UMass Boston had an operating budget of approximately $437 million in revenue and $436.5 million in expenses, with a surplus of $469,000.

The following table shows UMass Boston’s operating budget summary for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

UMass Boston Budget Summary


Fiscal Year 2018*

Fiscal Year 2019*

Revenue Item



Operating Revenue



Federal Appropriations



Federal Grants



State Appropriations






Investment and Endowment Return



Other Revenue



Total Revenue

$ 431,135,000

$ 436,970,000

Expense Item



Salaries and Fringe



Non-Personnel Expenses



Scholarships and Fellowships












Total Expenses






*     Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Hiring Process

As part of UMass Boston’s hiring practices, UMass Boston departments are responsible for following the existing UMass Boston hiring policies for employees, both those who receive benefits and those who do not. These policies outline responsibilities for the Student Employment Services Department (SES),2 the Human Resources Department (HR), and departments requesting to hire new employees.

The hiring process for a student begins with the student accepting a non-work-study position and completing pre-employment paperwork. SES is responsible for verifying the paperwork, and then the department requesting to hire the student is responsible for completing an electronic personnel action form and submitting it to SES. The hiring process for an employee, with or without benefits, who is not a student begins with HR evaluating a job description based on funds available; then the hiring responsibilities shift to the manager of the department requesting to hire an employee, who evaluates candidates. Once a candidate is offered a position, the hiring department manager is responsible for providing notification and the completed hiring paperwork to HR.

1.     A new permanent chancellor, Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, was appointed on February 20, 2020, but an interim chancellor, Katherine Newman, was in the position during the audit period.

2.     SES is responsible for processing paperwork for student applicants who are not participating in a work-study program.

Date published: January 19, 2021