News Briefs – 4/15/04

Gintautas Dumcius

Trustee: UMass Boston Is Flagship Campus

UMass trustee James E. Mahoney recently praised UMass Boston as “an institution that deals with reality” at a daylong conference inaugurating the new Center on Media and Society.

“I personally like to think of UMass Boston as the flagship campus,” said Mahoney, senior vice president and director of corporate affairs at FleetBoston Financial, which sponsored the event.

Take that, Boonies U.

Amherst has long been recognized as the UMass system’s flagship. It gained official and legal recognition in September 2003.

It is unlikely that UMass Boston can legally challenge Amherst. But there are other options, of course: Constitutional amendment, anyone?

Mahoney also lauded the leadership of Chancellor Jo Ann Gora. “Now if she can just get the garage fixed,” he said.

War, What Is It Good For: Voting?

The Center on Media and Society conference continued throughout the day, holding a panel titled “What’s On the Mind of the Massachusetts Voter,” which included UMass Pollster Lou DiNatale and Harvard University professor Thomas Patterson.

When one student asked what steps the state can take to get young people to vote, DiNatale, in an aside to Patterson, said, “The draft.”

Legislative Task Force To Reform Public Higher Ed

The North Adams Transcript reports that state Senator Steven Panagiotakos (D-Lowell) is co-chairing a senate task force to come up with a ten-year plan to reform public higher education, which includes the five UMass campuses.

The task force comes after system-wide budget cuts and fee hikes. “I think all the stars are in line right now,” Panagiotakos was quoted as saying.

“It strikes me as lacking logic that we understood we had to do something with K-12, and we did, 10 years of it,” UMass Lowell Chancellor William Hogan told the Transcript, talking about the money invested in K-12 after education reform was passed. “And we simply went in the other direction [with higher education].”