UMass Launches Search for UMass Boston Chancellor

UMass Office of Communications | October 12, 2017
Interim Chancellor Barry Mills speaks at September's convocation.

Interim Chancellor Barry Mills speaks at September's convocation.

14-Member Search Committee Formed; UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski to Consult

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 14-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
Lisa Calise, UMass Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
Richard P. Campbell, Former member, UMass Board of Trustees; UMass Boston alumnus
Dr. Julie Chen, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, UMass Lowell
Edward J. Collins Jr., Former member, UMass Board of Trustees; labor representative
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; UMass Boston alumnus
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, 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
Dr. Marcellette Williams, UMass Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and International Relations
UMass Boston Student Representative to be appointed
UMass Boston Faculty Representative to be appointed

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.

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

About the University of Massachusetts
The University of Massachusetts is a five-campus public research university system renowned for the quality of its academic programs, the scope and excellence of its research, and the strength of its public service mission. UMass provides access to high quality, affordable education that advances knowledge and improves the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world. To learn more, visit

Tags: barry mills , chancellor , search committee

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