The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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In a Washington Post editorial entitled “Trump’s presidential library will be a shrine to his ego,” Paul Musgrave, Assistant Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, writes about how former presidents have used their presidential libraries to frame their legacy. Musgrave writes that President Trump’s library “will be a shrine to his ego… Following a trail blazed most successfully by Richard Nixon, turning his presidential library into an image-making prop will be among the most normal things Trump ever does.”

Associate Professor Brenda Bushouse and Assistant Professors Juniper Katz and Viviana Wu represented the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy at the 2020 Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference, “From Climate Change to Social Justice: How Citizens are Re-Shaping Nonprofits and Philanthropy in an Age of Disruption and Transition." Read More via UMass Amherst News Office.

Paul Musgrave, Assistant Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, is quoted in an article about academics urging colleges and universities to refrain from hiring top-level Trump administration officials as they exit their government positions. “This is an abnormal administration that has been hostile to science, to universities, to immigrants,” he said. “This is not an administration whose officers can be treated normally.” 

An article by Jamie Rowen, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst, that was originally published in The Conversation in May 2020 was reprinted on Veterans Day. The article describes eight ways that COVID-19 has hit veterans hard (From Press, 11/11/20).

A UMass Amherst/WCVB poll asking voters who they would pick to replace Senator Elizabeth Warren found Representative Ayanna Pressley to be the top choice, followed by former Representative Joe Kennedy III. These results were cited in an article in the Boston Globe about the possibility of elected officials from Massachusetts becoming part of the Biden administration. (The Boston Globe, WHDH 11/11/20).

A MassLive report of town-by-town results of Ballot Question 2 from last week’s election cited a UMass/ WCVB poll from late October.  The poll had found that 48% of likely voters supported the ballot question, which sought to implement ranked-choice voting, while 43% opposed it and 9% were undecided. Ballot Question 2 ultimately failed to pass. (MassLive, 11/11/20)


Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at UMass Amherst, comments in an article about whether President Trump’s legal challenges will succeed in changing the outcome of the election. Collins says the lawsuits were filed for “purely political reasons ...  as a way of delegitimizing the Biden administration and the electoral process itself.” (The Boston Globe, 11/10/20; Collins’s comments also included in Salon, 11/10/20)

UMass Amherst has begun offering a Master of Science degree in Data Analytics and Computational Social Science. Details are available on the program website. (Inside Higher Ed, 11/10/20; News Office release)

Faculty members Laura Colmenarejo, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Elizabeth Sharrow, Associate Professor of Public Policy & History, both of UMass Amherst, were among women in downtown Northampton reacting to the election of California Senator Kamala Harris.  Harris is the nation’s first female, first Black person, and first Asian American to be elected as Vice President. Colmenarejo said Harris represents hope for the future. Sharrow said, “I think there is good reason to believe that the election of Senator Kamala Harris to the vice presidency is likely to have long-term impacts on how girls — and girls of color, in particular — orient themselves to politics.” (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 11/9/20)

Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, appeared on the program “Basic Black,” following the 2020 presidential election, to discuss the role of opinion polling. Reflecting upon the ways in which he believes that many people use polls incorrectly, Nteta says, “Polls are not soothsayers. This is not Ides of March. This is not Julius Caesar. They tell a picture when the polling occurs. The media has used this in a predictive fashion but pollsters never, myself included, intend for these to be predictive.” (WGBH-TV Boston, 11/6/20) Watch video here.