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You were, you are, UMass.

Sorry for the lack of posting recently but quite frankly there has been very little to post about.  Hopefully that will change soon now that the players are back on campus and captain practices have likely already begun (of course, captains themselves have yet to be named).  I’ve already begun some research to do my Hockey East and UMass team preview.  Last year I did a long preview for each and every team.  Those were pretty much made redundant with my individual game previews so this year I’ll likely do one large one for the conference with capsules for each team and if time allows I might try an abbreviated version for the other conferences as well.  Yesterday’s big football win is a positive sign that hockey season is not too far off.

I did want to pass along this story in today’s Boston Globe however highlighting UMass’ challenges to get the elite in-state students and rankings.  While the story is a somewhat depressing look at the state of Massachusetts’ public university, I think it’s shows the necessity that being a supporter of UMass doesn’t begin and end with sitting in the stands cheering on the Minutemen.  If you’re a UMass alum or fan you also should be a UMass advocate.  Why does UMass struggle to establish itself as a top tier university?  Easy, for decades it has been ignored by the governor’s office and state legislature, places dominated with graduates from private institutions around the state.  Massachusetts routinely has ranked among the lowest in the nation when it comes to support of public higher education per capita.  That’s why if UMass and the prospect of affordable higher education for residents of Massachusetts is important to you, let people know about it.  And I specifically mean your legislators, your business contacts, friends, family, basically anyone who will listen.  Despite what you usually read in the Boston papers, UMass is an excellent school that has established a great academic repuation DESPITE the little support from the power brokers in Boston.  I’m very proud to say that I chose to attend UMass over Boston University (it always brings an ironic smile to my face when the BU students pull out the “safety school” chant at games).  It ended up being a very easy decision when looking at quality of education, student life, future prospects, and the big picture. The fact that UMass is as good as it is one of the best kept secrets in the state.  Time to let the secret out.  UMass is a great school, has the potential to be on par with the other top tier public institutions in the country, and we shouldn’t let the politicians and other detractors limit its potential.

I may have first arrived on campus 17 years ago (wow, I feel old), but UMass still means a lot to me.  I wouldn’t be where I am in life without it.  And I think it’s important the the school is there and better positioned to help future generations fulfill their dreams as well.  That’s why I do what I can to advocate for the university however and whenever possible and I would hope that anyone else that has had UMass play a part in their life would do the same.  The UMAA’s tagline says it best, “You were, you are, UMass.”

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2 Comments

  1. Class of 2009

     /  September 7, 2010

    I completely disagree with Michael Dukakis’ contention in the globe article that UMass need not compete with quality private schools in Massachusetts. Despite what Dukakis and those currently on Beacon Hill may believe, being intelligent doesn’t necessarily coincide with being wealthy. That may be difficult for somebody like him to understand, as he stands behind the lectern at Northeastern Univ (Cost of attendance: 50.4k).

    It would be fantastic if each promising young adult in the bay state had parents willing to bankroll 40k+/year for fine institutions like UMich and BC, however that is not the case. Arguing that Massachusetts need not aspire to feature a top-tier flagship state university is a smack in the face to thousands of working class and middle class residents.

    The article also depicts UMass as a school in decline, an assertion simply not supported by the facts. Admissions standards are up (last years freshman class entered with an average high school rank of top 20%), new buildings are being built and completed, and despite massive state budget cuts (something the article did accurately point out) the school has continued student/faculty outreach efforts including the continued revitalization and development of the University’s honors college.

    Investment in state education is investment in state jobs, progress, and development. It is no secret that state school students tend to seek jobs within their state, and the effects of Massachusetts’ brain drain will continue to inhibit the massive potential this state has.

    All in all, I have great respect for UMass and take great pride in my alma mater. Although it is certainly not UMich, nor will it likely ever be, but it is a fine institution with incredible opportunity for those who wish to pursue it.

    Like

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