Board of Trustees Officially Appoints Barry Mills Interim Chancellor of UMass Boston

Office of Communications | July 17, 2017
Interim Chancellor Barry Mills speaks to the UMass Board of Trustees at their meeting Monday.

Interim Chancellor Barry Mills speaks to the UMass Board of Trustees at their meeting Monday.

The UMass Board of Trustees today officially appointed Barry Mills interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, with board Chairman Robert J. Manning describing Mills as “a person of great skill and knowledge and integrity.”

Mills succeeds former Chancellor J. Keith Motley, who stepped down on June 30.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Mills said after his appointment was approved unanimously. Mills also thanked President Marty Meehan, Chairman Manning and the other members of the Board of Trustees “for the confidence you have shown in me.”

Mills joined UMass Boston in March, when he was appointed deputy chancellor and chief operating officer. He arrived at UMass Boston nearly two years after retiring from the presidency of Bowdoin College, where his accomplishments included increasing the college’s endowment by nearly $1 billion, replacing student loans with grants for all students receiving financial aid and completing a major curriculum reform.

In addition, minority enrollment more than doubled during the 14 years Mills served as Bowdoin’s president, rising from 14 percent of total enrollment in 2001 to 33 percent in 2015.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Mills graduated from Bowdoin College cum laude in 1972 with a double major in biochemistry and government. He earned his doctorate in biology in 1976 at Syracuse University and a law degree in 1979 from the Columbia University School of Law.

Mills is married to Karen Gordon Mills, the former administrator of the Small Business Administration in the Obama administration, who is currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School, focusing on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Mills and his wife live in Boston. They have three sons.

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

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