News: Press Releases

October 12, 2017

UMass launches search for UMass Boston chancellor

15-member search committee formed; UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski to consult

BOSTON – Calling it one of the most important assignments of their respective tenures, UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert J. Manning and UMass President Martin T. Meehan today jointly announced a global search for a new chancellor for UMass Boston, appointing a search committee and naming University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) President Freeman A. Hrabowski III as a consultant to the search.

“We are launching a search for a proven, inspiring and dynamic leader for UMass Boston,” said Manning. “President Meehan and I, along with the board and the search committee, are committed to ensuring that leadership communities in higher education, business and public service understand the incredible opportunity the UMass Boston chancellorship provides to transform lives and advance an invaluable institution in one of the world’s greatest cities.”

“Through its contributions to research, teaching, public service and workforce diversity, UMass Boston is integral to the city, the Commonwealth and beyond,” said President Meehan. “Boston’s only public research university serves the most diverse student population in New England and engages in research partnerships with some of the city’s most important institutions. There is no university in the country better positioned to enhance its impact over the next decade, and we are seeking a chancellor who is inspired and motivated by that opportunity.”

Hrabowski has served as president of UMBC, one of UMass Boston’s aspirational peers, since 1992. President Obama appointed him chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and he has served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally. Hrabowski, Manning and Meehan will actively recruit candidates for the search committee.

The 15-member committee, chaired by current UMass Trustee and former Chairman Henry Thomas, includes UMass Boston faculty, students, staff and alumni, as well as representatives from the board, the university system, the community and labor. The search committee will develop a pool of candidates and submit finalists to President Meehan, who will recommend one finalist to the Board of Trustees for appointment to the chancellorship.

“The committee is tasked with conducting a comprehensive, transparent and inclusive global search,” said Thomas. “We are up to the task, and excited to play an important role that will shape the promising future of UMass Boston. I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to serve as the committee’s chair.”

The search committee will seek input from campus stakeholders on the qualifications and characteristics considered important in the new chancellor through open public forums.

“This is the finest search committee I have seen in my 10 years at UMass,” said Meehan. “The members are distinguished, diverse and experienced. They also bring to the table a deep understanding of UMass Boston, the university as a whole and the city and state we serve.”

The members of the search committee are:

  • Chair, Henry M. Thomas III, president and CEO, Urban League of Springfield; former chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees

  • Dr. Jane Adams, department chair of psychology; professor, college of liberal arts, UMass Boston

  • Lisa Calise, senior vice president for administration and finance, UMass

  • Richard P. Campbell, former member, UMass Board of Trustees; UMass Boston alumnus

  • Dr. Julie Chen, vice chancellor for research and innovation, UMass Lowell

  • Edward W. Collins Jr., former member, UMass Board of Trustees

  • Edward H. D’Alelio, treasurer, UMass Foundation Board of Directors; UMass Boston alumnus

  • Dr. Charlie Desmond, former chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; CEO, Inversant

  • Dr. Mary K. Grant, chancellor, University of North Carolina Asheville; incoming president, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate; UMass Boston alumna  

  • Imari K. Paris Jeffries, member, UMass Board of Trustees; executive director, Parenting Journey; UMass Boston alumnus

  • Dr. Robert E. Johnson, chancellor, UMass Dartmouth

  • Robert Lewis Jr., founder and president, The Base

  • Gray Milkowski, student trustee, UMass Boston

  • Dr. Manickam Sugumaran, professor of biology; chair, faculty council, UMass Boston

  • Dr. Marcellette Williams, senior vice president for academic affairs, student affairs and international relations, UMass

In a related announcement on Thursday, UMass Boston Interim Chancellor Barry Mills said that he will step down at the end of the 2017-18 academic year, but will remain if a permanent chancellor is not selected by then.

Mills cited UMass Boston’s stabilizing finances and the merits of long-term leadership in the form of a permanent chancellor.

“When I was appointed interim chancellor in the summer, I stated that it was my intention to remain in office for as long as it took for this community to address its financial challenges and chart a course for future success. I believe we are now well on our way along these paths for the future,” said Mills.

Appointed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer in March, Mills became interim chancellor on July 1, after longtime Chancellor J. Keith Motley stepped down.

“UMass Boston is committed to transforming the lives of large numbers of students from all walks of life. It is heroic and inspirational – and its best days are still to come,” said Mills.