University of Massachusetts Term Paper

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Core Analysis - UMASS

This report is a critical analysis of the at University of Massachusetts Amherst budget. The intention of the report is to make recommendations in the university's resource allocations in order to improve spending tendencies in order to improve the quality of services provided to the students and the immediate community. The analysis includes several considerations. For example, the budget, a comparison of the schools other institutions and the services they provide to the community. Another objective of this report will be to provide a definition of quality in order to evaluate if the University of Massachusetts at Amherst is providing quality service. As budgets continue to shrink, the expectation of a public school education is still expected to be top notch. Although the Ivy League schools are credited as the best providers of a college education, public schools are actually responsible for providing 80% of American undergraduates with an education. The states have been desperately trying to reduce spending so less and less money will be received by the public universities. This puts the universities in a position where they need to make choose where best to allocate funding. The University of Massachusetts Amherst budget is no exception. "Krogh attends the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, which watched its income diminish by $15 million last spring. And George Mason University in Virginia, where Modzelesky edits the school paper, has already lost 14% of its state funding -- and may see as much as 15% more vanish this fall." (Shea et al.)

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is one of the leading universities in the United States and has gained a reputation as a leader in higher education. Because of the varied competition from the Northeast's schools, the University of Massachusetts Amherst must continually expand its offerings in order to meet the high public demand. "The flagship campus of the Commonwealth's University system, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a major research university enrolling 24,000 students, from all 50 United States and over 100 countries. Its 10 schools and colleges offer 88 undergraduate majors, 68 masters and 48 doctoral programs. Sponsored research activities total more than $100 million a year." (University of Massachusetts) The university is a member of a consortium of five schools which has helped it become more accessible to urban areas surrounding Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges.

Current Objectives

The budget confirms that the university is currently in a financial bind. (See Appendix A) Student fees and state support will not cover the existing costs of the administrative, academic teaching, research performance programs and sporting programs of the fiscal year. That trend in turn has been forecast to continue into the future of Academic budget proposals. "To sustain and increase these levels of performance, the campus expects to raise significant private support through an aggressive and targeted fundraising campaign." (University of Massachusetts)

The Amherst campus does not currently enroll a full capacity of in-state students mainly due to the fact that the state can not fund enrollment and in-state tuition and fees does not cover the cost of new students. The university, therefore, will attempt to pursue out-of-state students because the out of state tuition provides higher revenues. The school will attempt to create a ratio of 33:67 with the latter representing out of state students.

In addition, the objective will be to reduce full time faculty. "Over the past four years, including the 2004 academic year, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has seen its faculty number reduced from a high in FY 2000 of 1,048 to its current low in the Fall of FY 2004 of 922 before the impact of the early retirement program is known to reduce." (University of Massachusetts) Unfortunately, the student population has remained relatively the same creating a situation of increased students per faculty member. This decline in the teaching staff is the biggest concern the University has. "The decline in staff over the period reflected in the budget tables attached is as dramatic and as damaging as the decline in faculty, and the campus must restore its staff strength as it rebuilds the faculty. The maintenance of first rate faculty and staff also requires constant reinvestment in compensation rates since the competition for these people from other higher education…

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