NEW TO UMASS - KEY STEPS
There are three critical steps to take, preferably before your arrival on campus (or in the earliest days of your employment at UMass Amherst). Attending to these steps as soon as possible will ensure a smooth transition to our community.
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The first step is to confirm that you’re scheduled to attend a New Employee Information Program hosted by the Office of Human Resources.
Complete and return the paperwork you are given at Human Resources Orientation in a timely manner.
Confirm that you registered for New Faculty Orientation and other events for new full-time faculty.
Get your Office of Information Technologies (OIT) Account NetID and password and use them to access important campus resources.
NEW TO UMASS - FAQ
Below, we’ve organized some answers to frequently asked questions about the greater Amherst area and the University.
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The University of Massachusetts is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, which is a part of the Pioneer Valley. Although a large number of our faculty live in Amherst itself, others have chosen to live in such nearby towns as Belchertown, Easthampton, Hadley, and Northampton. In deciding where you and your family will live, and whether you will rent or buy, you may wish to consult UMass Amherst’s Commuter Services and Housing Resource Center, a searchable database of house, condo, and apartment rentals and sales; Craiglist.org, a frequently updated listing of rentals by owner; SabbaticalHomes.com, a listing of short- and long-term rentals and housing swap opportunities; Realtor.com, a searchable national database for buyers and sellers of real estate; and the following web pages for individual towns/villages:Amherst Ashfield Belchertown Conway
The Pioneer Valley has a very well-developed public transportation system, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, which services the UMass Amherst campus and several nearby communities. For those of you who prefer to drive, one of your immediate needs will be securing a Massachusetts driver’s license and getting your car registered.
If you’ve moved from out-of-state, contact a branch office of the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles (the closest branch offices are in Easthampton, Greenfield, Holyoke, & Springfield) for instructions on obtaining a Massachusetts driver’s license . When you visit your local branch office, be sure to bring (1) your Social Security Card or a current U.S. or non-U.S. passport; and (2) your out-of-state license.
Instructions on registering your car can be found on the State web page. Prior to registering your car in Massachusetts, you’ll need to secure a Massachusetts auto insurance policy. Because auto insurance is regulated differently in Massachusetts than in many states, you may find that your current insurance carrier does not service this area. Local insurance agencies can be found in the paper or online Yellow Pages and the State maintains an auto insurance premium comparison file for carriers in Massachusetts.
The Secretary of State has a welcome page for new residents, which offers tips and links on many important issues, including establishing residency in the state, registering to vote, learning about state taxes, etc.
In order to get keys for your building and/or office, make sure your department administrative staff has completed and submitted a Physical Plant key request for you.
You’ll be notified when the key is ready to be picked up, which you must do in person (i.e., you can’t send someone on your behalf). Bring your driver’s license or UCard for identification. The temporary key pick-up location is in Room 1 on the ground floor of Dickinson Hall, near the Recreation Center and Parks Band Building. Please use the west side building entrance.
To access audio-visual (AV) cabinets in auditoria and technology-enhanced classrooms, instructors now use lock combinations instead of physical AV keys. Lock combinations are available in SPIRE to those instructors teaching in classrooms equipped with AV cabinets. To obtain your combination, log in to SPIRE, go to "Faculty Home" and then "Classroom Locks". If you are teaching in a classroom equipped with an AV cabinet, a code will be listed.
The Parking Office is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 AM - 4:45 PM, and has two locations: 51 Forestry Way and Level Two of the Campus Center Parking Garage.
You must bring your driver’s license and car registration.
Prior to visiting the office, you may wish to view the online interactive parking guide (viewed by scrolling down to the bottom of the Parking Office’s homepage) to familiarize yourself with the parking maps on campus. Be prepared; many lots, particularly small or centrally located lots, are full. If this happens, the Parking staff will most likely put you on a waiting list and give you short term status elsewhere.
Important notes: If you are not yet in the payroll system, you will be given a month-long temporary parking permit. You can download your parking application form and fill it out in advance. However, do not fill in your preferred lot number until you go to the Parking Office and find out which lots are available.
New incoming faculty with questions about their benefits are encouraged to contact one of the benefits specialists listed below in the Human Resources Office.
UMass Amherst has had a long commitment to building a racially and ethnically diverse campus community of faculty, staff, and students. Below are just a few of the many programs, initiatives, and organizations that support and encourage our diverse community. Click the categories to open or close.
The International Programs Office serves as a resource to all international students and scholars. They offer advice on immigration matters and issue visa documents. They also provide information and guidance on issues such as employment, health insurance, language courses, programs for spouses, and general information about UMass and the Amherst area.
The Faculty Senate is a representative body that is responsible for faculty participation in university planning and governance. The Senate has numerous standing and ad hoc councils and committees whose members include faculty members, staff, administrators, and undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty membership on councils and committees is open to all faculty members, not only elected Senators, and full Senate meetings are open to the public.
The Massachusetts Society of Professors (“MSP”) is a local union affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association on the state level and with the National Education Association on the national level. The union provides security and stability for faculty and librarians, and assures them a voice in the operation of the University. All faculty and librarians are covered by the contract negotiated between the MSP and the University, and MSP members are available to answer questions about the benefits of membership.
For a list of personal and family resources, including information about tuition waivers, adoption, stopping the "tenure clock," dual-career couples, and more, please visit our Work/Life page.
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