Regional briefs

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Published: 9/18/2016 10:53:55 PM
UMass climbs in national rankings

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts has climbed one spot since last year on the U.S. News & World Report, to be named the 74th best college in the country.

Amherst College, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College each scored highly on the list, while Hampshire College was disqualified because it does not accept standardized test scores from applicants.

Since 2010, UMass has jumped 25 spots on the list. It ranks schools based on graduation rate, academic reputation, retention rate and alumni giving and selectivity.

It also rose to number 27 on U.S. News’ list.

Amherst School panel members asked state for help amid dysfunction

AMHERST — Members of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee last month petitioned the state Education Department to help address dysfunction within the district.

The letter, signed by five of the committee’s members, was submitted less than two weeks after the committee agreed to pay $309,000 to settle claims by former Superintendent Maria Geryk that she had endured a hostile work environment and that the committee had violated the terms of her contract.

The letter outlined issues involving racism and shouting matches at committee meetings, which the authors felt impeded their ability to do their jobs. They described the district as “stagnating” amid the ongoing problems.

Responding to the letter, DESE said it “had no statutory and regulatory role in overseeing locally elected school committees or school committee members,” and suggested reaching out to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

The letter’s submission sparked criticism from other committee members, who said they were not informed of that action nor given an opportunity to sign it.

The members attended a retreat led by a MASC representative recently designed to smooth out differences.

Addition planned for UMass. Isenberg School

AMHERST — A $62 million expansion is planned for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The building will be called the Business Innovation Hub, and is expected to be completed by 2018. It will add about 70,000 square feet of classrooms, labs and a career center to the existing school.


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