UMass launches Dartmouth chancellor search

Photo of UMass Dartmouth campus
September 20, 2016

UMass launches Dartmouth chancellor search

  • The UMass System
President Meehan:“Aiming high… and intend to attract the very best”

DARTMOUTH – The University of Massachusetts today officially launched a wide-ranging search for a new chancellor for UMass Dartmouth by creating a 16-member search committee that President Marty Meehan said has the experience and expertise needed to identify outstanding candidates for the position.

The Search Committee includes UMass Dartmouth faculty, students, alumni and staff, along with community representatives and members of the UMass Board of Trustees. UMass Trustee R. Norman Peters will chair the committee.  

President Meehan sought input from the UMass Dartmouth campus community and from constituencies throughout the SouthCoast and beyond before making his Search Committee recommendations to the Board of Trustees.  The Trustees approved the committee unanimously.  

“World class leadership at UMass Dartmouth is crucial to the campus and to the entire SouthCoast region,” President Meehan said. “The Committee is tasked with conducting a national search that will be comprehensive, transparent and inclusive.”

President Meehan added: “When I look at UMass Dartmouth, I see excellence -- the excellence in its marine science programs, the excellence in its nationally recognized engineering, business and nursing programs, and the powerful impact of its civic engagement activity. Our task now is to provide the campus with a chancellor of similar stature and accomplishment. We are aiming high and  intend to attract the very best.”

The Search Committee will be asked to develop a pool of candidates and to submit finalists to President Meehan, who will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

“It’s important to get the right leader. UMass Dartmouth is an integral part of the SouthCoast community and a major force in driving the economy. We want to attract a chancellor who will build on the successes of the campus and take UMass Dartmouth to the next new level,” Trustee Chairman Victor Woolridge said.

“UMass Dartmouth is a critical engine for transformation and growth for the SouthCoast and is a vital asset for the Commonwealth and beyond,” Trustee Peters said. “Our committee’s goal is to conduct a diligent and comprehensive search that will help to identify the right person for this job -- the chancellor who can lead UMass Dartmouth into a new era of progress and achievement.”

Said President Meehan: “The members of this Search Committee have the credentials, the experience and the expertise needed to conduct an outstanding search and to bring forward highly qualified candidates for this position. The members of the committee have a deep understanding of the campus, of higher education and of the SouthCoast. This committee is diverse and distinguished and is well prepared to take on this significant responsibility.”

UMass Dartmouth, the only public research university in the state south of Boston, recently was designated as a doctoral level research institution by the national Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and ranked as a National Tier 1 university by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges.

The campus is also home to UMass Law School, the only public law school in the Commonwealth.

With the elevation of UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston into the Top Tier, all four of the UMass undergraduate campuses are rated in the top category in the recently released U.S. News &World Report national rankings.

With a long tradition of commitment of civic engagement and commitment to the SouthCoast region, UMass Dartmouth is rated among the top 1 percent of universities and colleges nationwide on the President’s National Education Honor Roll for Community Service, with students contributing more than 230,000 hours of community service annually.

Former Chancellor Divina Grossman stepped down last December after three and a half years, during which UMass Dartmouth improved student retention rates, modernized facilities and added new degree programs aimed at meeting the state and region’s economic needs.

In January, Interim Chancellor Peyton Randolph (Randy) Helm was appointed to guide the campus during the transitional period. Helm, who came to UMass after serving 12 years as president of Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, has said he won’t be a candidate for the permanent position at UMass Dartmouth.

Helm said he stands ready to assist the search process, adding: “In my brief time here, I have learned of the power of this university to create upward social mobility for our students and strengthen the economic and social fabric of the region and Commonwealth. This is an amazing opportunity for the right leader.”

The members of the Search Committee are:

  • R. Norman Peters, Chairman, member of the UMass Board of Trustees and founding partner of the law firm of Peters & Sowyrda
  • Cynthia Cummings, assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs, UMass Dartmouth
  • Kevin Delaney, UMass Dartmouth student member of the UMass Board of Trustees
  • Peggy Dias, executive director of IT Quality Assurance, UMass Dartmouth
  • Patricia Filippone, executive director, UMass Building Authority
  • Carolyn Flynn, general counsel and director of gift planning, UMass Foundation
  • Maria Furman, member of the UMass Board of Trustees, retired managing director and bond portfolio manager of Standish Ayer and Wood, UMass Dartmouth ’76 BA
  • Pingguo He, professor School for Marine Science & Technology, UMass Dartmouth
  • Shannon Jenkins, associate professor of political science and department chair, and Academic Director of Online Learning, UMass Dartmouth
  • James J. Karam, president, founder and CEO of First Bristol Corp. and former chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, UMass Dartmouth ’66 BS
  • Jacob Miller, former student member of the UMass Board of Trustees, UMass Dartmouth ’16 BA
  • Matthew Morrissey, vice president-Massachusetts, Deepwater Wind, UMass Dartmouth ’96 BA, former student member of the UMass Board of Trustees
  • Luis Pedroso, founder, president and CEO of Accutronics Inc. 
  • Matthew Roy, assistant vice chancellor for civic engagement and director of the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement and professor of ManagementUMass Dartmouth
  • James Sheehan, vice chancellor for administration and finance, UMass Dartmouth, and UMass Dartmouth ’86  MBA
  • Glaucia Silva, associate professor, Department of Portuguese, and department chair, UMass Dartmouth.
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