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FSU Executive Committee Resolution on Centers and Institutes


Dear Colleague,

The Faculty Staff Union Executive Committee passed the following resolution on May 17, 2019 regarding the “Report of Taskforce on Centers and Institutes.”  At a time when the Interim Chancellor continues to insist upon the necessity of defunding these crucial institutions of learning, research, and community engagement, the FSU executive committee urges its membership to contact campus administrators and state legislators to express support for the findings of the Taskforce, which is attached

Resolution of FSU Executive Committee Regarding Centers and Institutes

Whereas the Provost, facing widespread opposition to the University’s plan to defund many centers and institutes (C&Is) over a 5-year period (the “glide path”), appointed a taskforce on Nov. 30, 2018, to make recommendations to her about the future of C&Is, including ways to help them increase external funding; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce was composed of fourteen members, including five members from University administration (including the Provost’s office), four faculty, and five representatives of C&Is; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce, over a three-month period, investigated best practices at peer institutions, conducted numerous listening sessions for stakeholders (students, faculty, staff and communities served by C&Is), fielded an on-line web survey and met ten times to deliberate on recommendations; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce, in its report to the Provost submitted on April 3, 2019, found that UMass Boston’s C&Is are “important catalysts to [the] culture of collaboration, and each play a different but integral role in encouraging innovative scholarship, providing service to society, and strengthening the University’s performance as a nationally recognized research university”; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce also found that C&Is are “closely linked to the unique mission of UMass Boston and its strong social justice and human rights perspectives as well as the many and diverse racial and ethnic communities and cultures represented in its student body and adjoining communities of Greater Boston, the state, nationally and internationally”; and

Whereas, the Provost’s Taskforce further found that the glide path undermined the University’s stated objective to help C&Is increase funding—by depriving them of the very resources necessary to secure additional external funding; and

Whereas, among its many recommendations, the Provost’s Taskforce—including senior members of the Provost’s office—unanimously recommended that the glide path be frozen; and

Whereas, the Provost summarily rejected this recommendation; and  

Whereas, the Provost’s decision would cripple the C&Is and weaken the University’s ability to fulfill its complex mission of teaching, community engaged public service and research, at the same doing damage to its reputation in Boston, across the state, and nationally; and

Whereas, the consequences of the Provost’s decision will also have dire consequences for the students, staff, and faculty of our University; now, therefore, be it

Resolved that the Executive Committee of the FSU:

commends the Provost’s Taskforce for its comprehensive and objective Report of Taskforce on Centers and Institutes, submitted to the Provost on Apr. 3, 2019; and 

urges the Provost to accept all the recommendations in that Report which were made unanimously by the Taskforce she appointed, and which included senior members of her own staff; and

more specifically urges the Provost to accept recommendation #3 of the Report, that the glide path for C&Is be frozen.    

From the FSU Executive Committee

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