Administrative Collaborations

Shared Administrative Initiatives:

Five College Joint and Shared Positions and Services. Five Colleges manages the following positions and services among the campuses noted.

Audit Services (Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith). Three campuses and Five Colleges, Inc. agreed in 2006 to retain the services of KPMG.

Fiber Optic Network (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, UMass). Built and owned by all five institutions, Five College Net, LLC, was completed in 2007 and serves all five campuses and several towns.

Five College Library Depository. Known as “the Bunker” because of its previous life as a Cold War-era Strategic Air Command regional control center, this high density storage facility stores lesser-used materials from the libraries.

Libraries (all campuses). Extensive and long-standing cooperation among the libraries also gives Five College campus community members access to the combined strength of all campus libraries, which currently totals some nine million volumes. In addition to open borrowing privileges, members of the Five College community may search the collections and place a borrowing request online.

Meal Exchange. By special arrangement among the food service directors, a student enrolled in a meal plan at the home campus may receive permission to have meals at another campus without additional charge.

Museums10. A collaboration of seven Five College campus museums and three affiliated independents, Museums10 combines the resources of its members with grant funding to promote its members and the region.

Risk Management (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith). Through the Five College Risk Management Program, established in 1994, the four colleges share the expertise of one Five College Risk Manager.

Sustainability Programs: Recycling and Energy Efficiency. For more than a decade, the four colleges shared the services of a Five College Recycling Manager, assisting each campus in upgrading its educational campaign and improving methods of recycling as well as the marketing of specified waste materials. The colleges continue to cooperate with the university's own program of recycling and utilize its recycling facility. Until recently, Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges shared the services of an energy efficiency manager who, over several years, significantly improved energy efficiency in generation, building, and consumption. Our sustainability programs personnel, in conjunction with college leaders, are assessing new directions for sustainability programs among the colleges.

Training Collaborative. The Five College Management Training Collaborative was established in 1994 (the program is currently in transition). A shared administrative assistant position was based at Amherst College, 2002/03-2005/06.

Transportation. The Five College Bus System serves all five campuses and has been in operation since 1960. Since the 1980s the service has been run by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority and UMass Transit. Thanks to Five College subsidies, students and employees ride for free, and they do -- some 1-million rides a year are given over Five College routes.

Joint Endeavors Among Member Campuses. Collaborations within the consortium have inspired member campuses to pursue collaborations with each other outside the consortium. The following are examples of shared positions and services:

E-learning (Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith). The three campuses began a shared subscription purchase in 2005.

Environmental Health and Safety (Hampshire, Mount Holyoke). Beginning in 2006-07, Hampshire contracted with Mount Holyoke to provide environmental health and safety services, under the direction of a Mount Holyoke administrator.

Health Services. Amherst and Hampshire Colleges contract for student health services from UMass Amherst.

Local Purchasing. Campuses collaborate on local food purchasing.

MHEC - Joint Purchasing. Initiated as a Five College buying group in 1967, the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) today consolidates the buying power of 87 schools throughout New England in drawing up common contracts for goods and services.

Ombudsperson (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire). Mount Holyoke and Hampshire began sharing an ombudsperson in 2006. Amherst joined that sharing in 2009.

Public Safety (Mount Holyoke, Smith, Hampshire). In 2004 Mount Holyoke and Smith began sharing a director of public safety. Since 2008 Hampshire has shared management for all public safety services with Mount Holyoke; Smith joined the group in 2009.

Rental Property Management (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith). Created in 2000 to oversee rental property management for three campuses.

Religious Life (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith). Several institutions have shared services of chaplains over the decades.