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We are now the School of Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science is now the School of Computer Science. 

On December 11th, 2012, the UMass Amherst Faculty Senate officially ushered in a new era, voting to approve the transformation of the Department of Computer Science into the School of Computer Science. This change signals the recognition by the University of Massachusetts Amherst both of the excellence of the computer science faculty as well as the increasingly central role that computer science plays within the University of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the nation.

Schoolhood is an endorsement of our vision for the future of computing and computational thinking at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In this vision, faculty with interests and expertise in computing in a very broad spectrum of disciplines across the campus come together to define and develop new and expanded research, educational programs, and collaborations. The School will be the intellectual focal point for broad interdisciplinary activities in research, teaching and outreach that engage UMass Amherst community members across the campus, building upon the CS faculty's nationally prominent research activities and its already-strong connections to other campus academic units in research, teaching and service.

With this initiative, UMass Amherst joins other major universities across the nation that have capitalized on the growing understanding of the centrality of computing by undertaking different kinds of organizational innovations. Schoolhood supports a more effective engagement between Computer Science and other fields, allowing an expanded mission/footprint for computing, offering new educational programs, and forming broader and stronger interdisciplinary research connections.

We have already embarked on new degree programs, including a Bachelor of Arts and a professional Master's Degree. Schoolhood will make it easier for us to offer programs that cross traditional departmental boundaries. Also in the planning stage is an Informatics program that will help meet the demands for computing across a variety of disciplines. Potential concentrations within the Informatics degree will include Data Analysis ("big data"), Multimedia, and Health Informatics.

Schoolhood also brings with it a number of immediate, practical benefits that will make it possible for us to realize our vision. It means that we will now have much greater control of our destiny, through greater control over the hiring of new faculty members and teaching assistants. This newfound ability to guarantee continued growth for the CS faculty and student body will help us cope with the increasing demands for computer science courses as our undergraduate enrollment continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In addition to maintaining and building our strength in core areas of computer science, we will continue to hire faculty that cross disciplinary boundaries.

We view schoolhood as one more milestone on our path, and look forward to exciting developments in the years to come.