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UMass Lowell Department of Regional Economic & Social Development 10 years after: Achievements and Challenges Prepared for the 10 th Anniversary of the Department of Regional Economic and Social Development University of Massachusetts Lowell

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umass lowell department of regional economic social development

UMass LowellDepartment of Regional Economic & Social Development

10 years after:

Achievements and Challenges

Prepared for the 10th Anniversary of the

Department of Regional Economic and Social Development

University of Massachusetts Lowell


• RESD @ UML• Whence Have RESD Students Come?• Research and Outreach• Recent Research/Publications• RESD and CITA• RESD in the Region• National and Global Collaboration• Where Have RESD Grads Gone?• RESD: Next 10 Years



The Regional Economic and Social Development (RESD) Department offers Master’s programs and advanced certificate to prepare students to understand, analyze, and intervene in the economic and social development of regions.

Graduates work in government agencies, civil society organizations, business enterprises and research agencies, and other policy and development settings. Many graduates go on to do Ph.D.s.  

The department is interdisciplinary drawing on the fields of economics, history, political science, psychology, sociology, and urban planning.


Whence Have RESD Students Come?

  • United States 62%
  • Asia 19%
  • Latin America and the Caribbean 9%
  • Africa 6%
  • Europe 4%

Research and Outreach

Three RESD-run Centers:

Center for Family, Work and Community

Center for Industrial Competitiveness

Center for Women and Work

Funding Sources (among others):

US Govt. (NIH, NSF, Education, Environmental Protection Agency, Housing & Urban Development, Labor, Fulbright Program), Massachusetts Govt. (Commonwealth Corp., Foundation for the Humanities, Renewable Energy Trust), European Commission, French Govt., Boston Foundation, Center for Global Partnership, Ericsson, European Institute for Business Administration, Ford Foundation, Levy Economics Institute, National Academy of Sciences, Rockefeller Foundation, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Russell Sage Foundation, Svenksahandelsbanken, Upjohn Institute

RESD external funding, 10 year total=

$22 million+


Recent Research/Publications

Recent RESD research has been on:

high-tech employment (regionally, nationally, globally, by gender), low-paid work, working conditions, migration, urban development, globalization, women in development conservation policy and HIV/AIDS, social aspects of design, innovative enterprise, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, emerging industries in the MA/New England economy, Wal-Mart, biotech, aircraft engines, telecommunications, video games, US stock market

Publications in refereed journals; for example:

Cambridge Journal of Economics, Comparative Social Research, Economic and Industrial Democracy, Enterprise & Society, European Management Review, European Planning Review, Industrial, and Corporate Change, Innovation and Industry, International Review of Social History, Labor History, Regional Studies, Research Policy

Plus books, edited volumes, numerous chapters in edited volumes, and research reports.



Committee on Industrial Research and Assessment (CITA)

CITA was established in January 1993 to coordinate efforts across UMass Lowell to further the University’s mission of contributing to sustainable economic and social development. RESD faculty members have played prominent roles in CITA throughout its existence.

Over the years CITA has fostered interdisciplinary research and outreach projects among UMass Lowell faculty, staff, and students. CITA has also held eight high-profile conferences, a number of them international. Three volumes based on conference papers have thus far been published with a fourth on the way.


RESD in the Region

  • Lowell
  • Coalition for a Better Acre, Community Teamwork, Cultural Organization of Lowell, Great Lowell Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Dept. of Planning & Development, Revolving Museum, River Ambassadors, Tsongas Industrial History Center
  • Northeast MA
  • Lawrence (Community Works, Planning & Development, Redevelopment Authority), Merrimack Valley Project, Workforce Investment Board
  • Massachusetts
  • Legislature, Workforce Development, Economic Development, Gateway Cities, Greater Boston Legal Services, Massachusetts Benchmarks, Law Reform Institute, AFL-CIO, Software Council
  • New England
  • NE Initiative, NE Compact, NE Indicators & Measures, NE Association of Regional Councils, NE Council, University of Maine COPC

National and Global Collaboration


Economic Policy Institute, Labor & Employment Relations Association, National Research Council, National Center for Women in Information Technology, Rockefeller & Ford Foundations: The Future of Work, Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math, HUD Office of University Partnership, IMPACT social innovation consortium, Key National Indicators Initiative


Botswana (Okavango Research Centre); Canada (IBM Centre for Advanced Studies); China (Renmin University); Finland (World Institute for Development Economics Research); France (INSEAD, University of Bordeaux, Commissariat Général du Plan); Germany (Science Center Berlin); India (Janaagraha Center of Citizenship and Democracy); Japan (Tokyo University); Mexico (Tlaxcala University; Center for Labor Research & Union Advice); Norway (Norwegian School of Management, University of Oslo); Sweden (Stockholm School of Economics, Uppsala University); International: Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Grassroots International, International Metalworkers Federation, International Participatory Design Conferences.

Plus invited speeches and seminars to academic,

government, and business audiences around the world


Where Have RESD Grads Gone?

  • US Federal Government
  • City Governments
  • Civil Society Organizations
  • Research Agencies
  • Business Enterprises
  • Education Institutions
  • Ph.D. Programs

RESD: Next 10 Years

Consolidate our position as one of the world’s leading graduate programs in the economic and social development of regions, through

  • continuing to attract high-quality students locally, nationally, and globally
  • providing a unique blend of intellectual and practical training in regional development
  • doing research that extends and enhances our national and international visibility and impact
  • engaging in outreach relevant to an expanding number of local constituencies on a broader range of issues