News Releases and Official Statements

Share |

University of Massachusetts Presidential Search Committee Designates Finalists

BOSTON - The University of Massachusetts Presidential Search Committee today designated three finalists for the UMass presidency, moving the selection process on to the University's Board of Trustees.  The finalists are Charles R. Bantz, executive vice president of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Robert L. Caret, president of Towson University in Maryland; and Phillip L. Clay, chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"The search committee is delighted to be advancing the names of three distinguished higher education leaders," said James J. Karam, chairman of the University of Massachusetts Presidential Search Committee. 

"In doing so, the search committee has fully met its charge, which was to provide the Board of Trustees with a slate of finalist candidates, any one of whom could be an outstanding new leader for the five-campus University of Massachusetts system," Karam added.

The names of the finalists were transmitted to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, which is meeting in Boston to consider the election of a new President.

About the finalists:

  • Charles R. Bantz is chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and executive vice president of Indiana University, an eight-campus university system. He previously served as provost at Wayne State University, vice provost at Arizona State University and chair of Communication at Arizona State. He has held positions on the faculties of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Bantz earned his bachelor's degree in English education and his master's degree in speech communication at the University of Minnesota and holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Ohio State University. 
  • Robert L. Caret is president of Towson University, where he also has served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president, and provost during his more than 25-year tenure at the university. Between 1995 and 2003 he left Towson to assume the presidency of San Jose State University. Caret received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Suffolk University.
  • Phillip L. Clay is the chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A member of the MIT faculty since 1975, Clay also has served as associate provost, head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and assistant director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The University is seeking a successor to President Jack M. Wilson, who will step down when his current term ends on June 30. President Wilson, who has led the University of Massachusetts since September 2, 2003, recently announced that he will join the UMass Lowell faculty after he leaves the UMass presidency.

Karam, who has led the search committee since it was formed last March, said the University has mounted a thorough search process.

"The search committee has engaged in an open and comprehensive process to ensure that we choose an outstanding new leader for the University of Massachusetts," said Karam. "I want to thank the members of the committee for their time and effort over the past 10 months. Your thoughtful, energetic and transparent effort to reach out and assess these candidates has been much appreciated by the Board of Trustees and the entire UMass community."

Karam added: "This search has culminated in the selection of distinguished finalist candidates who deeply believe in the transformative power of higher education and understand and respect the mission of public higher education. These candidates come from a variety of backgrounds in public and private higher education, and each has demonstrated his commitment, energy and creativity."

UMass Trustee Henry M. Thomas III, who served as vice chairman of the search committee, said: "This is a distinguished group of candidates, and I believe we have outstanding candidates because the Search Committee did its work and performed at the highest level."

For more information on the University of Massachusetts Presidential Search:


Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073


The PDF files on this page require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Communications Staff Directory

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

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)

JoAnn Conley
Communications Coordinator/Writer
617.287.5538 (Office)

Jan Brogan
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)

Featured University of Massachusetts Publications

UMass Amherst
UMass Boston
UMass Dartmouth
UMass Lowell
UMass Medical School