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President Caret offers views on UMass role in South Coast economic development, Dartmouth chancellor search

ACUSHNET, MA - UMass President Robert L. Caret expressed his unwavering commitment today to the academic and economic needs of the South Coast, saying it was a hallmark of outgoing UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack's tenure and part of the legacy she will pass on to her successor.

In remarks to the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce's Good Morning Southcoast breakfast, President Caret listed the myriad ways in which UMass has enhanced the economic, social, and cultural life of the area - from establishing the School of Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford to chart and preserve the area's marine environments to creating the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River to link University laboratories with fledgling technology firms to grow jobs in the innovation economy.

President Caret said the University was making substantial progress in finding a replacement for Chancellor MacCormack, who has led the UMass Dartmouth campus since 1999 and is retiring. He said he expects the next chancellor to be just as energetic and committed as she to cultivating partnerships with business and civic leaders to help shape economic development in southeastern Massachusetts.

``While I can't say who the next chancellor will be, I can say he or she will continue the legacy of collaboration that Chancellor MacCormack and UMass Dartmouth have woven into the fabric of this region,'' President Caret said. ``They have set the bar high in their commitment to the South Coast community, and I think it's critical that the next chancellor shares that commitment.''

The Chamber of Commerce breakfast was the latest in a series of meetings with key civic and business leaders that President Caret has embarked on since he set out in October on a four day, 400-mile bus tour across the Commonwealth. President Caret, who assumed his position in July, is on a mission to increase public support for UMass and demonstrate the University's vital role in helping to create jobs and the workforce needed in the innovation economy.

``For cities and towns like New Bedford, Fall River, and Dartmouth to achieve a bright future, they need a strong and vital University of Massachusetts. The University's mission obviously commits us to excellent teaching and innovative research,'' President Caret said. ``But the public mission also obligates UMass to serve the Commonwealth in other meaningful ways - economic development and workforce development are two important ways in which we bring that mission to life.''

To that end, President Caret said UMass will continue working with industry and government leaders on the South Coast to, among other things:

  • Finance and build the Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center, which he said will accelerate life sciences technology in the Commonwealth and create jobs by allowing emerging companies to test the feasibility of their products. President Caret said the center should be built on time, on budget, and brought to scale so that it can generate jobs, attract industry, and serve as an anchor for the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park in Fall River.
  • Develop the School for Marine Science & Technology's newest endeavor - a $48 million expansion project on the former Naval Reserve Center in New Bedford Harbor to bring construction jobs and provide new opportunities for research and learning by the end of 2013.
  • Grow the Marine Renewable Energy Center, whose research provides much-needed critical intelligence on offshore tidal energy and technologies.
  • Continue investing in UMass Dartmouth faculty's successes in new areas, such as high-performance computing, and leverage those investments to create more collaboration with other campuses, institutions, and industry.
  • Expand the University's relationships with local K-12 districts to provide students with access to the best science and technology available.

Contact:  Ann Scales, 617-287-4084



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