News Briefs

Gin Dumcius

Amherst Officially System Flagship

UMass Amherst was officially and legally recognized as the flagship campus and research institution of the UMass system, thanks to a state senator’s efforts, reported The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, the college’s student newspaper.

State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, a staunch opponent of Governor Mitt Romney’s proposals to re-organize the system, spoke before the Faculty Senate, proud of his success.

“It doesn’t matter how we organize the system – it matters how much money is put into it and who pays,” he said. “Every eight or nine years the idea to reorganize the university system comes up. It’s a cover used while they [the state legislature] cut the heart out of your budget. It doesn’t matter what academic setting you are in – the person above you is useless – you want independence. Chancellors don’t need presidents, and presidents don’t want Boards of Education.”

With the legal designation comes a special budget for the chancellor “to create a ‘new strategic plan to inform the legislature what is needed for Amherst to be a true flagship’ and improve its level of competitiveness among research universities,” the Collegian reported.

UMass President Search Forum

The Board of Trustees and the President Search Committee will hold an Open Forum on Tuesday, October 2, from 8:30 to 10, in the Chancellor’s Conference Room, according to a memo from Chancellor Jo Ann Gora. “The purpose of the forum is to provide all members of the campus community an opportunity to learn more about the search process and to express their thoughts on the preferred attributes of the next president. Open Forums will be held on each of the five campuses.”

Retired Director of Field Station Passes Away

Dr. Wesley N. Tiffney, Jr. passed away on Friday, September 5, 2003, according to a university-wide memo from Provost Paul Fonteyn.

Tiffney was appointed director of the UMass Boston Nantucket Field Station in 1974, where summer courses, research opportunities, and field trips were taken up by students from universities and colleges in the area. He retired last year.

A new director, Sarah Oktay, was appointed earlier this month. Oktay, a research associate of UMass Boston’s Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Sciences has plans to “revitalize” the field station by slightly moving away from “pure research,” according to the Nantucket Island Inquirer.

New Heads of UMassOnline Named

Two new heads of UMassOnline have been named, according to the Worcester Telegram Gazette.

David Gray was named interim chief executive officer of UMassOnline, as Barbara Macaulay was appointed chief academic officer. Gray will keep his job as UMass vice president for information services and chief information officer.

UMassOnline enrollments topped out at 12,000 in 2003, and the venture makes nearly $12 million dollars a year. Three hundred courses are offered each year.