By Jacquie Moloney
I’m writing to announce that this fall, I will begin my final academic year as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. I am grateful to have had the honor and privilege of serving as chancellor for the past six years and for eight years previously as executive vice chancellor. I will always treasure our time together and the many accomplishments we achieved during my 37-year tenure at UMass Lowell. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to advance our university as one of the top public institutions in the country.
I am proud of the remarkable transformation of the university captured in the recently published 2020 Strategic Plan Final Report. We can all take great pride in meeting and, in many cases, exceeding the ambitious benchmarks we set for ourselves.
Together we have built a blueprint for the university of the future, and nourished a culture that helped us withstand one of the worst social and economic times in our history during the past 16 months.
Despite many challenges, we achieved record gains in student enrollment and academic preparedness. Our student retention and graduation rates have never been higher. Simultaneously, we created a campus and a culture that is far more diverse and representative of our nation – one that welcomes, seeks out and strives to learn from differences across the human experience.
Our students’ experiences are now anchored in rich academic programs surrounded by applied learning opportunities that enable thousands of graduates to realize their dreams every year. Programs that didn’t exist when we started our 2020 Plan, such as DifferenceMaker, Study Abroad, Co-op programs, the River Hawk Scholars Academy, veterans affairs services and others, are now nationally recognized models of excellence in higher education.
We have recruited internationally recognized scholars, teachers and researchers to our faculty, strengthening the scholarship that has long been central to UMass Lowell’s success. Our research portfolio has grown tremendously as a result, tackling critical global, societal and technological challenges.
We have modernized and grown our facilities and operations to support our record surges in enrollment, student engagement and research.
We’ve shattered past fundraising records and the goals for the university’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends who have invested in the future of UMass Lowell with greater participation than ever before. Our faculty and staff giving percentages are unparalleled in higher education and a testament to your commitment to our mission and our students.
And we continue to serve as a driving force for the social and economic well-being of the city of Lowell, the surrounding communities and the Commonwealth, thanks to the culture of service we have fostered at UMass Lowell.
I look forward to working with you in the coming year to continue this transformational work and to recover the momentum we had going into the pandemic. Like every institution around the world, we have suffered setbacks and losses, but I know that I can count on you, as I have done over the last four decades, to help our university come back stronger and better than ever.
I am grateful to President Marty Meehan for including me in his leadership team during his tenure at UMass Lowell and, along with the UMass Board of Trustees, for the confidence to appoint me as chancellor. As the president and board initiate a national search in the fall for the next chancellor, I am pleased to leave my successor with the keys to our success – the work ethic, passion and altruism of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of UMass Lowell.
I look forward to rejoining the faculty a year from now and continuing to work by your side to create opportunities for our students and the community around us. In the meantime, let us enjoy our return to the campus and the community we cherish at Convocation, Homecoming, sporting events, graduation and the many celebrations we will share together throughout the year. I am forever grateful for your dedication and for all you do for our beloved university.