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President Wilson to join UMass Lowell faculty

BOSTON - University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today announced that he will accept a senior faculty position at the University of Massachusetts Lowell when his term ends on June 30, 2011.

Upon the completion of his term, President Wilson will serve as University Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Innovation, based at UMass Lowell.

"We are looking forward to welcoming Jack Wilson as a member of UMass Lowell's faculty. He brings unique experience to our campus not only from his years as President of the UMass system, but also from his success in research and business development," said UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal.

"Throughout the course of my career, I have been fortunate enough to hold teaching and leadership positions at major universities, I have been able to start a company and have served on an array of state and national boards and commissions. A common thread running through all of this work is my interest in research and discovery and in the way technological innovation touches lives and drives our economy. This new academic position will allow me to share this passion with students and to continue to advance my view that research universities are critical engines for economic growth," said President Wilson.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to opening a major new chapter in my career," President Wilson added.

President Wilson, 65, has led the five-campus University of Massachusetts system since assuming the presidency on September 2, 2003. Last year, he announced that he would step down when his term expires on June 30, 2011. The University of Massachusetts currently is conducting a national search for President Wilson's successor.

President Wilson intends to teach, advise and mentor students at UMass Lowell and will also write about such issues as innovation and higher education. President Wilson said he will also take on projects for UMass Boston and will be available to advise the University's new President.

President Wilson currently serves on a number of boards and commissions dealing with competitiveness and innovation. He is a member of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center's Board of Directors and serves as Chairman of the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity of the national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

President Wilson, a physicist, pushed UMass to new heights in the areas of intellectual property and patents, and helped to make the UMass system one of the nation's leading research universities. UMass was recently named one of the best universities in the world in the prestigious Times of London World University Rankings. In addition, the University ranked eighth nationally in the amount of money generated by patents and licenses for the most recent year, with $70 million in licensing income, according to the Association of University Technology Managers.

"I see my role as helping innovators make that crucial leap from the lab to the marketplace," said President Wilson.

Additionally, President Wilson emphasized access and affordability for students and championed a capital program aimed at providing new facilities and much-needed renovations on all five campuses.

President Wilson joined the University of Massachusetts in 2001 as the founding CEO of UMassOnline, the system's acclaimed distance-education program. Prior to joining UMass, he was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he also served as dean, research center director and provost. He has also served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, College Park, and as an officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society.

In addition to his work as an educator, President Wilson has a successful track record in research and development. He was the founder, CEO and chairman of LearnLinc Corp., established in 1993 as a spin-off of his research, and formed the publicly traded Mentergy Corp. President Wilson's expertise in linking higher education, government and business led him to help found the Paul Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship and other programs. He also served as a consultant to companies including IBM, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Hewlett Packard and Boeing.

President Wilson holds a bachelor's degree from Thiel College in Greenville, PA, and master's and doctoral degrees in physics from Kent State University in Ohio. He lives with his wife Judi and their two children, John and Jessica, in Westborough. He also has two grown daughters, Erika and Gretchen, and four grandchildren.

Contact:  Robert P. Connolly, 617.287.7073

 

1/7/11

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Communications Staff Directory

Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
617.548.0238 (cell)
617.287.7073 (office)
rconnolly@umassp.edu

Ann Scales
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617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)
ascales@umassp.edu

JoAnn Conley
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617.287.5538 (Office)
jconley@umassp.edu

Jan Brogen
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)
jbrogen@umassp.edu

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