Inside Stories

“Necessary Structural Changes” Coming to UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell is embarking on necessary structural and re-organization efforts in the coming weeks as part of an effort to put the University on a track to flourish over the next decade. That is the message delivered by Chancellor Julie Chen in a video that was emailed to staff this afternoon.

“There are some difficult moments ahead of us that are needed to put UMass Lowell on a track to flourish over the next decade,” Chen says in the nearly four minute recording. “Ongoing financial and demographic pressures require us to think differently about how we operate.”  

Chen indicated some of the changes in line with the University’s Strategic Plan have already been implemented. More discussions are slated in the coming weeks with the leadership team and even the creation of an anonymous submission form where staff members are encouraged to send their ideas.

In another portion of the video, the Chancellor indicated a message would go out tomorrow from Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, Steve O’Riordan, with details on a voluntary separation incentive program as well as a hold on all non-strategic hiring.

“We will re-direct efforts to key priorities, such as enrollment marketing and revenue generating ideas,” Chen added, while also discussing efforts “to eliminate and reduce the office footprint,” as well as identifying ways to eliminate repetitive and duplicative work.

While Chen herself did not reply to a request for comment from InsideLowell, the University’s Media Relations Department did offer the following statement:

“Similar to many higher education institutions across the nation, UMass Lowell is streamlining its efficiencies while maximizing its impact on student success. We anticipate these decisions, along with the implementation of the university’s 2028 strategic plan, will create positive outcomes across the UMass Lowell community.”

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