A key rationale articulated by the Saxon Commission in 1989 for the creation of the five-campus UMass system was the need for Massachusetts to build a world-class public university to meet the challenges of economic change in the global, technology-intensive economy.
The Economic Development Department in the Office of the President was created in 1993 as part of the initial organization of the five-campus system. It is believed to be the first office of its type created at a major state university system in the United States. It serves as a vehicle to promote and coordinate the University‘s role as a resource for economic development and for building alliances with industry, government and academia in the Commonwealth.
The department carries out this mission in a variety of ways:
- Coordination and support for system-wide initiatives (e.g., Mass Green High Performance Computing Center)
- Advocacy at both the state and federal levels of government (e.g., economic stimulus legislation, life sciences grants) for S&T initiatives
- Development of policies for adoption by the Board of Trustees (e.g., conflicts of interest)
- Management of system-wide organizations (e.g., UMass Donahue Institute, Office of Technology Commercialization & Ventures, etc.)
- Conduct of economic research and programmatic activities (e.g., MassBenchmarks)
- Management of strategic investments