Strategic Framework for Massachusetts Public Higher Education

Strategic Framework for Massachusetts Public Higher Education

DumontJanks is collaborating with the Executive Office of Education and the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance in the creation of a strategic framework for public higher education in Massachusetts. The project's focus is on the development of principles and methodologies for future capital investment. This is the first time a comprehensive plan that includes the five campuses of the University of Massachusetts, the nine state universities, and the fifteen community colleges has been attempted.

Our work seeks to strengthen collaborations and partnerships between the institutions, better align capital investment with workforce development goals, and create a data-driven methodology for capital decision making. To do this, our team has developed and synthesized data analytics around statewide demographic trends, the national higher education context, the landscape of public higher education in Massachusetts, ten-year workforce supply and demand projections (with the help of our subconsultants at Mt. Auburn Associates and Futureworks), space use for each campus (with an emphasis on instructional space use), and building condition information (gathered by Sightlines), including the creation of a twenty-year capital renewal model.

Stakeholder engagement is a critical part of the process; we have met individually with the leadership of every institution, and hosted a series of regional workshops where campus leadership, government administrators, and local stakeholders can participate, reflect on the data, and share in the creation of strategy.

The resulting methodology outlines an entirely new process for capital allocations. It establishes data requirements and sharing mechanisms, and provides clear and transparent steps by which future proposals will be judged based on point-in-time priorities.