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The Mass Media

Online Extra: Urban Mission Working Principles

UMass Boston’s Urban Mission: Key Working Principles

Engagement with urban places, people, and issues, and their complex local, national and global linkages, is a hallmark of UMass Boston’s general mission as an urban public university. We use the term “Urban Mission” to refer to this public urban quality of our university mission, which affirms that: “The University of Massachusetts Boston, one of the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts, is nationally recognized as a model of excellence for urban universities. A comprehensive, doctoral granting campus, we provide challenging teaching, distinguished research and extensive services which particularly respond to the academic and economic needs of the state’s urban areas and their diverse populations.”

The University is a public institution located in one of the nation’s most important metropolitan regions, also the Commonwealth’s capital and major population center. UMB is privileged to provide an excellent university education to residents of Boston and other cities and regions, seeking knowledge and skills to fashion their life’s work.

The University of Massachusetts Boston has an institutional obligation and responsibility to employ resources in partnership with urban institutions and residents to help create viable social fabrics, economies, civic and cultural institutions, and healthy service organizations. The interdependence between our university and urban systems and residents is incontrovertible.

As a public urban university our mission is to provide access to the highest quality education, knowledge, and services to the public in all its variety, with particular responsibilities to the underrepresented and underserved, especially communities of color and low income, among others.

All of the traditional functions of the university – teaching, research, and service – can and do contribute to furthering the urban mission. It is important to acknowledge the range of contributions we make, while recognizing that units of the university may contribute to the urban mission in varying ways. Because of this breadth and the evolving nature of our university, it will be an ongoing task to clarify and inventory UMass Boston’s substantial range of contributions across the university in each area.

In concert with the broader university community, the Urban Mission Coordinating Committee (UMCC) will play a key role in the ongoing task of identifying how we meet our urban mission at the level of particular programs, activities, and initiatives. This information is critical as the UMCC seeks to promote these contributions on and off campus and to advocate for the application of the essential principles outlined in this document.

Statement of the Subcommittee on the Definition of the Urban Mission, UMB Urban Mission Coordinating Committee: Kristy Alster, Luis Aponte-Pares, John Ciccarelli, Lester Goodchild, William Kiernan, Winston Langley, Peter Langer, Celia Moore, Tim Sieber, Kathleen Teehan, Miren Uriarte, October 6, 2004

source: UMass Boston