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So UMass Amherst will be competing with UMass Boston after all, at least in some fields

When officials announced UMass Amherst's plans to buy the Mt. Ida College campus less than a mile from the Boston line, they offered vague statements about how they'd use it to let UMass Amherst students get internships in Boston and tie into the local hi-tech community.

But, yeah, they'll be offering degree programs that could compete directly with UMass Boston. WBUR reports Amherst is planning degree and certificate programs in areas such as nursing, computer science and engineering. UMass Boston already offers programs in nursing, computer science and electrical and civil engineering.

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All three programs are in ridiculously high demand. I toured UMass Amherst Engineering with my son a few weeks ago. A well driven group with a high skill set populates that Engineering department. You as citizens of this Commonwealth should be proud.

The demand for the state university nursing programs is well more than what the public education system can handle. Well qualified people are fighting to get into the UMass Dartmouth program and Amherst programs because of the lack of slots.

I am sick of UMass Boston crying foul. The school is over 50 years old but still falls back on the "we are a poor school" "we are an urban school" crutch. UMass Boston is run by grown ups. Yet these grown ups cry foul more than fair over and over again. Grown ups try to figure out a solution, not whine. There has been great infrastructure investment in the school in the past 15 years. Yes, the garage is falling down. Call Governors Sargent, King and Dukakis if you want to complain about what went on then. Today is today. The school will have dorms for the fall and will make a very big return on their fire sale purchase of Bayside.

UMass Amherst has gotten its stuff together, and I'm sure Adam can attest to that. It is not ZooMass anymore, though with occasional Patriots loses the old school rears its head for a few hours.

Mount Ida is a purchase that will help UMass Amherst complete for the best talent in the state, taking them out of the private school debt entrapment web and help the economy of the state overall.

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Voting closed 15

Are you really blind to the differences in funding between these 2 schools?

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...And Going to College. Amherst has a more stable class environment than your friend from high school who is smart enough to go to UMB but can't seem to show up to class on a consistent basis because of you know, "stuff".

Falling onto the privilege crutch? Amherst is 73% White, 27% Minority. Massachusetts is 75% White, 25% minority. So yes, there is an overwhelming amount privilege at Amherst, My math says it equates to 2%. It's dystopian, isn't it?

Life is about getting your stuff together. Amherst, and Lowell, and Dartmouth, seem to have gotten their stuff together. Why can't UMB?

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Voting closed 44

I didn't say white privilege, because its about the money. which your long winded reply managed to ignore.

How about comparing the number of homeless college students at each school. Of Course according to you, if you don't care enough to pay rent, you deserve to be homeless.

You seem to think that if you really care about school, you would live in a dorm. $6,061 per academic year (Residence Hall/Shared Room)
and $5,320 per academic year Unlimited Meal Plan.

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Voting closed 15

You make it sound like UMB is a branch of the Pine Street Inn. That is disingenuous to overwhelming majority of people who go to school there.

It is like showing up to Boston for one day in your life and there is a nor'easter. Then go back to Miami and you tell everyone you know that every day in Boston there is 45 MPH winds with sleet and snow. It does not tell the whole story.

A lot of people can pay rent and go to school at the same time. A lot of people who are hired to run an academic institution should be able to actually run an academic institution. Apparently those over on the former Cow Pasture on Dorchester Bay cannot.

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Voting closed 12

one does not have to go to the extremes to make one's point. That is not what the OP is saying.

Yes, you can pay rent and attend school at the same time. But today, that is quite difficult (you might of noticed how much rents are in the area and the costs of attending college?) Depending on your life circumstances/background and a slew of other stuff that one may be dealing with in their lives, it may be easier for some or nearly impossible for some. The reasons are varied; you can easily research and learn about the "whys" yourself.

And, tell me, have you tried to run an academic institution? How did it go?

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Voting closed 30

How many homeless students go to each school?

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you can find this stuff out yourself. But, here, read up:

https://www.umb.edu/life_on_campus/uaccess

Apparently, there are enough students at UMass Boston with certain life challenges that the school has a department set up to help.

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Voting closed 34

You didn't answer the question.

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It means something. Look it up.

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I'm not seeing UMass Amherst as privileged in any way except that it is an honors school.

UML has newer and better facilities now because they are newer. UMB suffered from mismanagement more than it suffered from being a poor stepchild - if you were around in the 90s, it was a hell of a lot nicer than UMass Lowell and UMass Dartmouth.

You really don't understand what you are talking about, so you are forcing a framing on this that really does not apply or exist.

Dig deep - read up, and not just from some UMB prof's blog that is more about grievance than it is about structural reality.

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Voting closed 13

UMass Boston as we know it only became UMass Boston in 1984. Before that it was 'Boston State' and even still that campus was built in 1974. Nothing 50 years old about it.

Also Massachusetts is now 72% white and 28% minority, which may be to your dismay.

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2018 - 1974 - 5 years for construction = 49 years

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UMass Boston was started in 1965 and had its first location in the old gas company building at the corner of Arlington and Stuart that is now apartments. It was always UMass Boston.

Boston State, was a teacher's college that is in the buildings occupied by now, save for the cool dorm, by MassArt on Huntington Avenue and was around since the 1800's. It was merged into UMass in the 80's because one school wasn't doing that well, while the other was. Sound familiar?

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What's the difference in funding? Numbers, please. Don't just say "You can't ignore the difference!" without saying what the difference is. That's like saying "There's definitely something going on with that."

***Oh yeah, don't just say, "Amherst gets more, because privilege." I doubt there's much, if any, difference, but again, share with us some numbers on which you built your high ground.

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They are all public universities which should all be on the same page, not competing for students, professors, funds or land. Someone should be in charge of ALL the Umass schools and do what is best for everyone, students, taxpayers, etc.

Is it cost effective to have a "Umass Amherst nursing program" in Newton if there is already one in Boston? Why not just have the Umass Boston nursing program use the Newton campus if commuting is an issue (which it probably will be a factor now). Or just close the Umass Boston nursing program all together and just have Amherst/Newton campus run it. I understand being close to Hospitals would be a bonus for any nursing program but I'm just wondering if this whole thing is cost effective.

On another note, someone suggested to UMass Amherst AD Ryan Bamford if it might be possible to have the Umass football spring game at Mt. Ida. He said it was an "interesting idea" if I remember correctly. Also, just revealed that Head Football coach Mark Whipple made 472K in 2017.

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They are paying teams to come from Hawaii to play, and then getting their rears kicked.

The Foxborough experiment failed. The hockey team has coaches go in and out. The basketball program still carries the Calipari stain 20+years on.

Paying Mark Whipple nearly $500K when that money can pay for 8 free four year rides for a kid from Brockton or Colrain who wants to be a doctor is idiotic.

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I read in the Herald today that Whipple is there until 2020. Too expensive to go back now.

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Boston College head coach Steve Addazio gets about 2.5 million a year, and they lose the same amount of money for the most part I bet.

I think the 85 athletic scholarships is the highest cost they have to deal with.

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BC is not a public institution. They can pay their staff whatever they like. Paying a football coach that kind of money from tax payers dollars is obscene. Colleges are for education. Focus on that and use the savings to lower costs for the students. Til the educators get paid that kind of money, the sports programs should be slashed.

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Although Northeastern got rid of football and was able to leap over Umass in the academic rankings over the past 20 years so maybe after this d1 football experiment ends you might see some changes like that.

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I have no idea how much, but they don't pay anyone to come play them. Hawaii always pays teams to come out there and Umass gets millions off of all of those SEC games they play away.

I think they are hoping one of these years they will win one of those road SEC games and that will "put them on the map". Also saw that Auburn is paying Umass 1.9 million to play them in 2020 and Georgia is paying them 1.5 million this year.

I'm guessing they gross about 1.5 million a year from those SEC games, (3 million in years they play 2 games), and "lose" about 4 million in scholarships and another 1 million in coaching salaries. I doubt them make any money in ticket sales.

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They have BYU coming to Foxboro this season and next. UConn will play at Gillette this year.

Their hope is they can find a home in a conference like AAC - it's a hard slog as an independent unless you're Army or Navy.

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Maybe not.

But competition breeds innovation and passes on benefits to the consumer that one over arching monstrosity will not, most of the time.

Nursing programs at both school are turning away students, so I honestly don't think they'll be competing much. It's actually a huge problem in programs across the country ATM; we don't have enough nurses, nursing educators, or spots in nursing programs to fill the quickly increasing demand and drop from those retiring.

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But competition breeds innovation

We gots ourselves a True Believer!

Hint: duplication breeds waste, not innovation.

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Large bureaucracies are wasteful. A single university is already too big to manage centrally, which is why none of them are...they're divided up into schools and departments and centers and whatever.

Is that wasteful? Maybe. Or maybe it isn't and it really does cost that much to do N different things under one roof.

Now multiply that by N things under M roofs on M campuses. Sure, you could mandate commonality across everything and "cut out the waste" but then your product doesn't match the demand and you lose customers to schools that offer a more personal touch.

Central planning never works for anything without a ton of its own waste. Difference is the waste is easier to obfuscate if it's centrally planned.

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Um. No.

Term for it is "coordination" and, no, public schools are NOT the same as private corporations.

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You know how you hear about all those big-name private universities merging?

No? Maybe that's because universities deliver services that are better run with local control and tailoring of the product to the clientele.

Higher education has been around for long enough that the sweet spot in institutional size and organizational structure has become evident. Same deal for public education.

There's always duplication. No system in the country specializes the way you're talking about. Multiple campuses offer the same majors. Sometimes in the same city.

You know why? Because the customers want flexibility. If I go to UMass X for major Y, but switch majors mid-year, I don't want to change campuses. You impose something like that on students, watch them go to private schools that let them pick-and-choose for more up-front cost.

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How many years have you spent in higher education administration?

Schools are not businesses.

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I've been in and around higher education for fifteen years. It all runs on money, and that money comes from attracting customers who pay that money in exchange for a product. That can be tuition and a credential for students or it can be grants and technical data for research sponsors. Of course they're businesses.

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I worked for UMass for close to six years. UMass Amherst was then as it is now seen as the "flagship" campus, to, in my opinion, the detriment of the other campuses. My point, a major one I do believe, is UMass is (or should be) one system, not separate schools competing against each other, which by its very nature, will have "winners" and "losers". I do not see this is a healthy way to provide education.

If UMass Amherst wanted a "presence" in Boston, they could of easily set up some UMass Amherst-Boston joint programs at the UMass Boston campus.

UMass Boston has always been known as a school with a very diverse group of students, but also non-traditional students; those who are working and going to school, for example, which by its very definition means that you will have more of a variety in income levels at that school as compared to UMass Amherst.

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My son has an enormous range of internship opportunities because we live in Boston.

His roommate? Warwick. Tons of summer jobs in robotics in Erving and Gill ... lol.

He's going to be living with us for the summer so he can play, too.

Rural poverty and isolation is a thing, too.

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Voting closed 3

UM Amherst already has One Beacon in the heart of Boston. The Mt Ida campus plan doesn't make any sense. A campus meant to tie Amherst students to internships in Downtown Boston; that's miles from the urban center and miles from transit. Nope. If they don't have any room at One Beacon to expand, then transform the state's Government Center complex (aka UMASS Dartmouth in Boston) into UMASS "Amherst".

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You don't want snowflake going to Dorchester for school, don't denigrate the students or faculty at UMB...

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Computer science and engineering and all dandy and fine, but nursing will face stiff competition from Simmons, BC, and Northeastern (and of course, UMass Boston). There's already a glut of new BSNs duking it out for jobs. NPs are also a plenty from these programs.

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Maybe in the Boston metro area, but everything I've read is there's a shortage of NPs across the US, and it's getting worse due to inability to pump out more NPs.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/30/news/economy/nursing-school-rejections/i...

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Yes, but having gone to one of the three schools I listed (with a boatload of nurses), almost none of these new grads want to leave Boston. The ones who go back to become NPs don’t leave either. The few that do are going to major cities with similarly large/competitive medical centers

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Or at least, how is it supposed to work? Are the various state schools part of a larger system following an overarching scheme or strategy, or are they independent entities that compete with one another? (This feels like the latter...)

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Yeah, I don't understand either.

I thought they shared a pool of money and had one president/chancellor for the whole system

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The irony in all this was it was Mitt Romney that first began shouting from the roof tops that the school system in MA was insane. While some of his ideas were not so great, I do think the "regions" approach made a lot of sense. Anyone who ever tried to transfer credits from one MA state school to another can tell you that Stat1 is not always equal to Stat1 from school to school. Ideally if they do this any Umass Boston student should be able to use those Newton resources and the same vice versa from the Amhearst student in Boston.

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/education/rewriting-the-history-of-publ...

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It's horrific what Mt. Ida did to their students (especially the ones they admitted and never officially notified they were closing). In particular, students in dental hygiene, vet tech, and funeral services programs have been royally screwed - especially since their course credits in their majors won't transfer if they can't find a new school with the same program. If U Mass A*** is going to offer programs in Newton, those should be the first on the list.

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... until the currently-enrolled students finish.

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The UMass system needs to do what's right for itself. This wasn't a hostile take-over - the Mt Ida administration had already effectively screwed those students by falling to a state where UMass takeover was the best feasible option. If those programs were sufficient to keep Mt. Ida's doors open, I don't agree that UMass needs to continue to operate the programs as an alternative to the school simply closing.

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The entire UMass system needs to take a giant step back and give this one a BIG think.

They don't seem to know what they are going to do with it or how to coordinate about the resource.

What they need to do is create a master plan that maximizes the value of the facility and minimizes the competition between schools. For example, it could be a resource center for things which need special resources - kind of like my high school and three others sharing a regional voke center, but more college like. It could also be a residential campus for all UMass affiliates when students do internships.

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NO!

Gov. Baker -- time to express your aggravation/disappointment (and then go hide some more).

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It was their grandstanding "starve all those elitists blah blah blah" stupidity that led to the current structure of foundation funding and quazi independent functioning. In the late 90s, the buildings at all the campuses were in horrendous shape - only ever other light worked, serious mold problems from leaking roofs, etc.

I think it is better this way, where the universities aren't dying and collapsing from "starve those evil students!!! Education grandstanding! No taxes ever YEAH!" baby boomer thinking of the sort that is killing our communities, hiccups like this notwithstanding.

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Adam, my understanding is that the UMass Amherst programs in Newton will focus on "executive education" - eg. for people already working full-time who want to get a degree in order to advance their career. (Essentially, extension school with a fancier name and without the basic degrees also offered, more or less - most of the private universities in Boston offer these programs and I imagine UMass Amherst wants to enter that space.) These programs will not siphon students away from UMass Boston in any significant way.

And yes, these programs could be offered by UMass Boston instead, but I don't think UMB has the financial resources to put into entering the highly competitive market of executive degree programs. These programs offered by UMass Amherst in Newton will not compete directly with the full undergraduate degree programs offered at UMass Boston, most of which involve taking classes during the daytime and other things that full-time working people can't take on. Add in the bonus of the Newton campus being well situated for people working along 128, and it is a pretty smart business move for UMass Amherst.

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The UMass system should be funded better all around. UMass does incredible things with what they’re allotted, and getting creative and innovative with a decreasing budget should be hailed a success story. But the private colleges dominate the monied inside 128 world, the State House, and the major media. Keeping UMass in its place is a priority for them, and constant smearing intends to keep public perception poor and make it easier to keep funding well below the levels of states.

Putting the flagship campus against Boston is a terrific lever towards this end. If UMass campuses are talking badly about each other the job of keeping state money away from UMass is simpler.

The Globe’s agenda is painfully obvious. After years of labeling UMass Amherst second rate they immediately pivoted to labels like privileged and elitist, calling the Mt. Ida purchase institutional racism. In reality it’s a creative attempt to do more with the limited funding they receive. Pretending they’re taking money out of the hands of UMass Boston is purely false. But the globe has been fueling that fire for one reason, protect their precious private schools.

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Voting closed 37

I see your point, but I'm not coming at this from the point of protecting Harvard and BU.

Why is UMass Amherst competing with UMass Boston? Yes, it would be good to expand nursing, engineering, etc., opportunities for kids in the Boston area. But are the two UMasses so completely independent of each other that they can't build joint programs within the UMass system, on a campus that already exists in Boston? Yes, I know the answer - they're independent institutions. But I can see UMass Amherst programs damaging the comparable programs at UMass Boston, and that's just stupid, at least to me.

Yes, UMass Amherst has a better reputation - how can you avoid those ads about the "Commonwealth's Flagship Campus" that end with a dramatic shot of Boston Harbor? But it took time to get over the whole ZooMass thing. Instead of working together with a sister UMass, UMass Amherst seems to be engaged in some sort of Hobbesian struggle for dominance. Imagine what you could do with $50 million or $70 million on a UMass Boston campus that has recently grown quite a bit and has still more room for expansion (well, at least until they sell off the Bayside Expo property).

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I’d also love to see what $50-$70M could do on the UMass Boston campus, but let’s not look at this as a zero sum game where money for Boston must come out of the funds UMass, UML, UMD, Med school can generate. The state can and should invest more in UMB because Massachusetts residents need more quality affordable programs in this area. Everyone that cares about public education should be all over their reps to make that happen. My point is that anti-UMass critique hurts that effort. The Globe, on behalf of the privates, have been running that play for decades. Please don’t help them.

Opportunities to partner between campuses would be good, they’ll probably take time to be shaped. I don’t see this as UMass competing with UMass Boston, rather it helps them compete with the BU, Northeastern, etc. Quality grad programs and continuing ed inside 128 at a fraction of the cost of private programs is a good thing for Mass working people.

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Voting closed 23

UMass Amherst is competing with UConn, UVM, Rutgers, Maryland-College Park, and other flagship state universities. They saw the opportunity to create a presence in the 128 area and jumped at it. That UMass Boston is not in the position to do the same thing is on how they have managed themselves.

The duplication of programs is a bit concerning to me. That said, if Boston wasn't offering the exact degree or program Amherst plans to offer, I don't see how it is bad that Amherst is now going to offer it.

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Not sure as to whether call those the "elephants in the room" or the "red headed step children" of the UMASS system. BHCC, for example, has a few pretty well-regarded professional programs that will be going into direct competition with the Amherst/Mt Ida business.

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