Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.29
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
PA-3: Inclusive and Participatory Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.12 / 3.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have formal participatory or shared governance bodies through which the following stakeholders can regularly participate in the governance of the institution?:
Yes or No
Students Yes
Academic staff Yes
Non-academic staff Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal participatory or shared governance bodies:

1. Student Government Association
Under Trustee Document T73-098, UMass Amherst students are granted "primary responsibility for services and activities which are designed primarily to serve students or those which are financed primarily by students, managing student political affairs and organizational matters, and setting standards for student behavior, conduct, and discipline." This responsibility is defined as “the capacity to initiate recommendations, after appropriate consultation.”

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the official body that students use to exercise this responsibility. The SGA is also responsible for managing the Student Affairs Trust Fund -SATF by allocating funding for all RSOs and a number of agencies that provide student services and promote student welfare. Additionally, the SGA provides a vehicle for students to engage in advocating for student needs and shaping the campus community through collaborative involvement with campus committees and programmatic and divisional leadership

2. Graduate Student Senate
The Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is one of the formally recognized governance bodies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The GSS serves as the graduate students’ representative body, working and communicating with the University administration, the Board of Trustees, and other governance bodies to present the views of, advocate for and protect the interests of UMass Amherst graduate students. It pursues policies and objectives that serve to advance the social, cultural, material and academic needs of the graduate student community.

The primary governance body for academic staff is the faculty senate. All business pertaining to academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst must be voted on by the Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate meetings also provide an opportunity for the University community to hear announcements from University leaders, including members of the administration, the Faculty Senate Rules Committee, the Massachusetts Society of Professors, the graduate and undergraduate student government organizations, and others, and presentations on matters of general interest by invited speakers.

The primary governance bodies for staff are their unions which provide opportunities for establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives; budgeting, staffing and financial planning; and communications processes and transparency practices.
Staff members are also permitted to serve on Faculty Senate Committees such as the "Health Committee."

Total number of individuals on the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of students representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of non-academic staff representing their peers as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Number of women serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body:

Percentage of official members of the highest governing body that are women:

Website URL where information about the institution’s highest governing body may be found:
Does the institution host or support one or more formal bodies through which external stakeholders have a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them?:

A brief description of the campus-community council or equivalent body that gives external stakeholders a regular voice in institutional decisions that affect them:

There are multiple UMass based governance bodies that provide opportunities for stakeholder engagement on multiple town/gown issues from stakeholders from all three of the above categories including:
-UTAC - University/Town of Amherst Collaborative: http://www.umass.edu/utac/
The University-Town of Amherst Collaborative (UTAC) is a joint initiative of the Town of Amherst and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is made up of Amherst residents, UMass Amherst town and university officials, and UMass Amherst students. UTAC is an advisory council to the town manager and chancellor which provides leadership and ideas, while building support for future joint endeavors. These include, but are not limited to, identifying sites for undergraduate mixed-use development, jointly pursuing public-private partnerships, and helping to create an anchor strategy for the university that embraces the town and fosters economic success. UTAC is a direct result of the Town Gown Steering Committee, created in 2013 with a joint commitment by Amherst and UMass to hire a consultant to aid in the development of a shared economic development and housing vision. The committee worked with U3 Advisors of Philadelphia on the UMass/Amherst Housing and Economic Development Plan upon which all future work is based.

Number of people from underrepresented groups serving as official members of the institution’s highest governing body.:

Website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The University of Massachusetts system is governed by a 22-member Board of Trustees that represents various interests of the public at large on a non-partisan basis. Seventeen members of the board are appointed by the Governor and five members are UMass students elected by the student body on each of the five campuses. The Board of Trustees functions as a legislative body dealing mainly with general policies governing the University. The Board is not an administrative or management board. (https://www.umassp.edu/bot)

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.