Jack M. Wilson to conclude UMass presidency in 2011
BOSTON - University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today announced that he will conclude his presidency when his current term ends on June 30, 2011.
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve as a steward of this University. It has been a joy to work on behalf of the students, faculty and staff of the University through the good times and through the challenges. But now it is time for me to prepare to hand the baton to the next President," said President Wilson.
Under his contract, President Wilson was asked to make a declaration about his future plans by June 30, 2010. Given that his term runs through June 30, 2011, the University is now positioned to assemble a search and have a successor selected as President Wilson's term expires.
President Wilson, 64, has led the five-campus University of Massachusetts since September 2, 2003.
During that time, he emphasized access and affordability for students, has focused on research and innovation, and has championed a capital program aimed at providing new facilities and much-needed renovations on all five campuses.
"I am particularly proud that we have been able to build enrollment and have increased the University's own spending on financial aid by more than $100 million in order to ensure that qualified students who want to attend the University of Massachusetts will be able to do so. This year, we have reached a new high in meeting 93 percent of students' demonstrated financial need - a number far higher than any of the other public universities in the region," President Wilson noted.
President Wilson added: "Running a great University is a team sport. It took inspired leadership on the campuses to bring about these accomplishments and talented faculty and staff to implement the many achievements.
"I want to give particular thanks to Chairman Robert J. Manning, who epitomizes the kind of Trustee and Trustee leader who serves this University so very well. Rob Manning is not only an alumnus, active donor and enthusiastic booster of the University, he is also a passionate advocate for students and is driven by the need to serve others. Thank you to the many Trustees who have supported our work and encouraged me to continue into another term. I assure you that I gave this very serious consideration but have concluded that this is the time for a change. I am very proud of what we have accomplished together.
Leaving at this time is a bit easier knowing that there is a uniquely qualified leadership team of Chancellors guiding the five campuses. I have complete confidence in their ability to continue the progress that we have seen on the campuses, and I know that the Board of Trustees shares my confidence in their superb leadership and in the prospects for the future."
President Wilson will continue to serve as President until his current term expires on June 30, 2011. Over the course of the next year, President Wilson will consider future opportunities inside and outside of the University. President Wilson says that he looks forward to working with students and working on the technology, innovation and economic development issues that have interested him throughout his career.
"At my core, I am an educator, and I look forward to being able to focus on teaching and to advancing research. I feel that it will soon be time to open a new chapter in my career."
Governor Deval Patrick cites a tenure of success:
Governor Deval Patrick said that UMass has made great progress under President Wilson's leadership.
"By any measure -- enrollment, endowment, test scores or capital improvements -- Jack Wilson's tenure has moved the University of Massachusetts forward. He has been a terrific partner in our shared commitment to making the public higher education system in Massachusetts a national model for excellence while keeping it affordable and accessible for our students," Governor Patrick said.
Chairman Robert J. Manning on Jack Wilson's presidency:
Manning, chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, called the Wilson presidency "a period of growth and achievement."
"President Wilson has put his heart and soul into leading the University of Massachusetts and bringing it to new heights. He has been an outstanding leader and will continue to guide the University for the next 16 months," Manning said.
Manning added: "Jack's accomplishments as President are many. As a result of his determination and leadership, our campuses have undergone a physical transformation. Our flagship campus in Amherst, for example, has seen the construction of an Integrated Sciences Building, a Student Recreation Center and an environmentally friendly Central Heating Plant, as well as the first units of new student housing built on the campus in decades.
"As a result of President Wilson's deep personal commitment to access and affordability, the University of Massachusetts has increased its funding for financial aid by more than $100 million during his tenure, opening the doors of opportunity to thousands of deserving, talented students from across the Commonwealth.
"President Wilson has placed an unparalleled focus on the University's role as an economic-development catalyst, understanding that it is brainpower and innovation that truly will move this state forward. He is a visionary and a doer. Jack Wilson has my respect, my admiration and my gratitude. As a Trustee and as a University of Massachusetts graduate, I am proud to say that Jack Wilson has been my President. He has set a high bar for his successor," Manning said.
Jack Wilson's career at UMass:
A physicist and career educator, President Wilson joined the University in 2001, after having been selected through a national search to become the founding CEO of UMassOnline, the University's highly successful distance-education program.
Under his leadership, UMassOnline became one of the most respected and successful online education programs in the nation. Since 2001, UMassOnline course enrollments have risen from 5009 to 40,020, and revenue has grown from $3 million to $47 million.
President Wilson, a scientist and entrepreneur who created his own company, has emphasized the direct connection between the education and research missions of the University of Massachusetts and the state's economic well-being. This recognition has caused him to build unprecedented links between UMass and the state's business, life sciences and technology communities, as well as a strong economic-development partnership with state government.
Research funding at UMass has grown by more than $100 million during Jack Wilson's presidency, rising from $320 million in Fiscal Year 2003 to $435.2 million in Fiscal Year 2008. UMass now ranks in the Top 10 nationally in generating licensing and royalty income from faculty inventions and discoveries. Annual intellectual property income has risen from $20 million as President Wilson was taking office to $73 million during Fiscal Year 2009. President Wilson often describes University research as "rocket fuel" for the state's innovation economy.
President Wilson believes that providing ample amounts of financial aid is the key to maintaining access and affordability for lower- and middle-income students. To that end, UMass has increased its own spending on financial aid from $36 million in Fiscal Year 2003 to $138 million in Fiscal Year 2010, an increase of 283 percent. A recent University report shows that in-state, undergraduate students at the lower end of the income scale (family incomes of $30,000 or less) this year pay an average of $2,311 for a UMass education, valued at $20,302 for tuition, fees, room and board, with financial aid offsetting the rest of the cost. Families in the $50,000-to-$75,000 income range, on average, pay $7,273.
UMass campuses were subjected to decades of deterioration as the state stepped back from its traditional role as the funder of construction and repair projects. During the Wilson presidency, UMass dramatically increased its own spending on capital projects, spending $1.23 billion on construction and repair, adding new classrooms, labs, student recreation facilities and student housing, and in the process significantly upgrading all five campuses. One of Wilson's first actions as President was to bring new leadership to the UMass Building Authority, the agency that borrows money for the University and oversees many capital projects. UMass now provides most of the funding for the capital projects that take place on its campuses. According to a recent report, UMass funds 84 percent of campus capital projects, while the state pays for 16 percent.
Fund-raising also has been a focal point for President Wilson, and the University's endowment has grown from $146 million to $454 million on his watch, an increase of 211 percent. The University's endowment is well managed, and investment performance during the global economic crisis was in the top quartile nationally.
Prior to arriving at UMass, President Wilson was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he held positions as Dean, Research Center Director and Provost. Before being appointed at Rensselaer, he 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.
President Wilson was the founder, CEO and Chairman of the LearnLinc Corporation, founded in 1993 as a spin-off of his research. After several mergers, he formed the publicly traded (NASDAQ) Mentergy Corporation, leaving the company in the next year. President Wilson's expertise in building links among higher education, government and business led to his becoming the co-founder of the Paul Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship as well as other programs. He has consulted for many computing and communications firms, including IBM, AT&T, Lucent, Hewlett Packard and Boeing Flight Safety International.
President Wilson earned his bachelor's degree at Thiel College in 1967, his master's degree in 1970 and his doctorate in 1972 in Physics, both from Kent State University. 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.
Jack M. Wilson Presidency:
Fall 2003: 57,853
Fall 2009: 65,923 (+14.5 percent)
Academic Year 2002-2003: 10,701
Academic Year 2008-2009: 12,630 (+18 percent)
SAT/GPA (UMass Amherst):
Fall 2003: 1,137; 3.28
Fall 2009: 1,169; 3.60
UMass Spending On Financial Aid:
FY 2003: $36 million
FY 2010: $138 million (+283 percent)
FY 2003: $320 million
FY 2008: $435.2 million (+36 percent)
Intellectual Property Income:
FY 2003: $20 million
FY 2009: $73 million (+265 percent)
Total University Budget:
FY 2003: $1.5 billion
FY 2010: $2.7 billion (+80 percent)
FY 2009: 40,020 course enrollments, $47 million in revenue
December 31, 2009: $454 million (+211 percent)
Major Capital Projects Completed FY 2004-FY2010:
Amherst: Integrated Sciences Building, Student Recreation Center, Central Heating Plant, North Apartments (864-bed, apartment-style student housing)
Boston: Campus Center, Venture Development Center
Dartmouth: Charlton College of Business, 1,200 units of new student housing and 800 renovated units
Lowell: Inn and Conference Center, Tsongas Center
UMass Medical School: ACCES Building, Parking garage, Central Services Office in Shrewsbury
UMass System: UMass Club
Major Capital Projects Launched:
Amherst: Integrated Science Center, Phase II
Boston: Integrated Science Center, Bayside Expo Center
Dartmouth: Library renovation
Lowell: Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center (first new academic building in 32 years)
Medical School: Sherman Research Center
Fiscal Year 2004-Fiscal Year 2009: $1.23 billion
Fiscal Year 2010-Fiscal Year 2014 (projected): $2.63 billion
Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238