Governor Deval Patrick today announced significant capital investments in the University of Massachusetts (UMass) system, furthering the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to building an affordable, world-class system of public higher education in Massachusetts. The Governor made the announcement at UMass Boston as President Caret and other university leaders marked the system's 150th anniversary. The Governor noted that the $607 million in new bond funding will advance high-quality instructional and research facility projects throughout the UMass system so that the Commonwealth can compete in a 21st Century knowledge-based economy.
"Providing access to quality, affordable higher education is about giving all of our students the opportunity to succeed," said Governor Patrick. "Education is Massachusetts' calling card around the world and central to our competitiveness in the global economy. We invest in education because we believe that it is the single most important investment government can make in our collective future."
"Our Administration is committed to maintaining Massachusetts' reputation for world-class educational facilities," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "By investing in our public higher education system, we are ensuring the Commonwealth remains at the forefront in educating our students to meet the demands of a changing and competitive job market."
"Throughout the world, the Commonwealth is synonymous with higher education excellence because of schools like the University of Massachusetts," said President Caret, who yesterday launched a four-day, 500-mile statewide bus tour aimed at highlighting the contribution that UMass has made to Massachusetts throughout its 150-year history. "Investments like the ones the Governor is announcing today give us our edge and help us expand economic opportunity throughout the state and to the next generation of leaders."
The 2013 Capital Plan will be announced in its entirety next week. UMass projects unveiled today include:
A new Physical Science Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst currently estimated at $85 million that will accommodate enrollment growth and higher demand in science programs, helping achieve the University's long term goal to improve all science facilities, increase retention and attract the highest caliber faculty and students;
A new Management Building for the Manning School of Business (MSB) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell which leverages approximately $10 million in private donations to support the $35 million project; and
A new academic classroom building at the University of Massachusetts Boston, estimated at $100 million to help address the demands of continued enrollment growth at the University and the drive to provide an academic setting in which cutting edge teaching techniques can be accommodated.
The 2013 Capital Plan includes projects that underscore the Governor's commitment to investing in campuses so that we can provide relevant, affordable educational and career-focused training programs that prepare students of all ages for both the local job market and further academic study.
In addition to these new projects, the Commonwealth, the UMass campuses and the UMass Building Authority are underway on three new laboratory research facilities at UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, and UMass Amherst, addressing the Governor's focus on using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as an essential tool for academic, workforce and industry development. The Administration is also supporting two new classroom buildings at UMass Lowell and UMass Amherst, and a library expansion and renovation project at UMass Dartmouth, bringing these Universities to the forefront of academic delivery models with state of the art teaching spaces and faculty offices. Through Governor Patrick's Life Sciences Initiative, the Commonwealth is also supporting several projects at UMass campuses including the construction of the Sherman Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School -- Worcester and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Biomanufacturing facility.
"The Patrick-Murray Administration has made investing in public higher education a priority," said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez. "By financing these capital projects the University of Massachusetts system will have the resources necessary to ensure our students have the knowledge to thrive and succeed."
"These investments will not only allow our campuses to better equip our students with the skills they need to succeed in the classroom and in the workforce, but will also benefit entire communities in their respective regions," said Education Secretary Paul Reville.
In 2008, Governor Patrick proposed and the Legislature approved a $2.2 billion higher education bond bill. In FY13, the Commonwealth's capital investment in higher education will be more than three times the total amount invested in FY07, when Governor Patrick took office.
In addition to capital funding announced today, Governor Patrick also awarded $2.5 million in Performance Incentive Fund grants (PIF) to the UMass campuses and state universities. These grants will support new and existing programs at campuses to improve college readiness and attendance of high school graduates, as well as college graduation and student success rates. Grants will also be used to expand programs linked to the state's future workforce needs by preparing students for jobs in high-demand fields.
PIF grant awards are as follows:
Bridgewater State University - $197,769.33 to support the Bridge Partnership initiative.
Fitchburg State University - $231,050.00 to increase college readiness activity related to developmental math and to support effective student transfers to other institutions.
Framingham State University - $63,000.00 to enhance student interest and achievement in the STEM areas.
Mass College of Art and Design - $95,392.33 to expand art gallery access for the community as part of a civic engagement initiative.
Mass College of Liberal Arts - $43,066.67 to support the development program capacity for civic engagement.
Salem State University - $243,693.00 to focus on innovative programs related to student success at Salem State.
Westfield State University - $148,124.67 for developing new required courses dedicated to civic learning and democratic engagement.
Worcester State University - $66,766.33 to support their AID program and the Starfish/Noel Levitz project.
UMass Amherst - $112,501.33 to expand the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program.
UMass Boston - $118,000.00 to create a professional development program and develop civic engagement strategies.
UMass Dartmouth - $75,433.33 to support their fellows program and expand student service opportunities.
UMass Lowell - $249,930 to develop a co-op work program complementing the academic experience and to expand civic engagement activity.