While not alone in facing challenges, UMass rises to meet them

December 26, 2010

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I WRITE to challenge the Globe’s unrelentingly negative articles in its series about University of Massachusetts Amherst (“A course correction: UMass tackles challenge of crowded classes, smaller faculty,’’ Page A1, Dec. 19). The paper consistently refuses to include evidence that would present a more balanced picture of a great university that is rapidly improving in spite of the current economic downturn.

Contrary to the misleading assertions in the paper’s latest article, UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, provides a first-rate education for its 27,000 students.

The problem of over-enrollment is not unique to UMass, as universities across the country, both public and private, struggle with similar issues. What is unique is the success with which UMass has met this challenge.

Despite severe budget cutbacks, our student-to-faculty ratio is consistent with public universities recently admitted into the Association of American Universities, the gold standard of American higher education.

In addition, the university has initiated a number of innovative programs to ensure that students receive the individualized attention they need to succeed academically.

As a leading public research university, UMass Amherst is committed to providing a competitive education to its students. We continue, unwaveringly, in this effort, and appreciate the ongoing support of our alumni and friends.

Robert C. Holub
University of Massachusetts Amherst