News: Featured Stories

September 6, 2013

UMass launches presidential search

  • The UMass System
Establishes search committee to conduct “wide-ranging, comprehensive” search

DARTMOUTH – UMass trustees formally launched the system’s search for a new president today by creating a Search Committee described as “distinguished and diverse” and by pledging to find “an outstanding new leader for the University system that means so much to the Commonwealth and its people.”

The Board of Trustees established a 21-member Presidential Search Committee to oversee what it said would be a wide-ranging and comprehensive search process. The Search Committee was created at a special Board of Trustees meeting held at the University of Massachusetts School of Law.

“We will ask this committee to conduct a national search that is open and thorough – a process that will give any and all candidates the opportunity to come forward and offer their ideas and make their case,” Board of Trustees Chairman Victor Woolridge said. “This Board is wholeheartedly committed to conducting a search that is inclusive and transparent, with the goal of attracting the outstanding candidates that a top-tier University like UMass deserves.”

Chairman Woolridge described the committee as “distinguished and diverse,” adding: “I believe we’ve found the right people at the right time to handle the very important task of finding an outstanding new leader for the University system that means so much to the Commonwealth and its people.”

The Search Committee includes faculty members from all five UMass campuses, three students, community and business leaders, and members of the UMass Board of Trustees, including Secretary of Education James A. Peyser. The Presidential Search Committee will be chaired by Robert J. Manning, the Chairman of MFS Investment Management and the former Chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees.

“It is my goal and the Search Committee’s goal to conduct a search that is thorough and wide-ranging,” said Manning, who is a graduate of UMass Lowell. “We will seek to attract and assess the very best candidates and are confident that our committee will meet its charge, which is to recommend outstanding finalist candidates.”  The Search Committee makes its recommendations to the UMass Board of Trustees, which makes the final selection of a new President. The Board is hoping to make its selection by July 1.

Manning added, “As a UMass system graduate, I take great pride in the fact that our University has enjoyed such significant progress in recent years and is now recognized as the top public university in New England and as one of the 100 best universities in the world. Many factors feed into this surge of success, and strong presidential leadership certainly plays a prominent role -- and thus we must find a leader who can keep us on our upward trajectory. As I am confident we will.”

The search process is aimed at choosing a successor to UMass President Robert L. Caret, who has announced that he will assume the chancellorship of the University System of Maryland on July 1. Caret has served as President of the five-campus UMass system since July 1, 2011.

President Caret, who spent most of his career in the Maryland system before coming to UMass, including a stint as president of Towson University, was praised as a strong and effective leader for UMass.

“Under President Caret’s leadership, the University of Massachusetts has achieved increased national and international recognition and has made significant progress in many key areas,” said Chairman Woolridge.

President Caret’s tenure at UMass has been marked by his strong advocacy for the University, his focus on controlling student cost and his emphasis on accountability and efficiency.

President Caret will formally step down on June 30. The search committee is expected to hold its first meeting in the coming weeks.

The members of the Search Committee are:

  • Robert J. Manning, Chair, UMass Lowell ’84, ’11 (Hon)
    Chairman of MFS Investment Management
  • Susan J. Braunhut, PhD
    Professor of Biological Sciences, UMass Lowell
  • Richard P. Campbell, JD, UMass Boston ‘70
    UMass Trustee and Founding Shareholder of Campbell Campbell and Edwards & Conroy PC
  • Edward W. Collins, Jr.
    UMass Trustee and International Representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Roger W. Crandall
    Chairman, President and CEO of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Sarah Freudson
    Student Trustee, UMass Amherst
  • David G. Fubini, UMass Amherst ‘76
    UMass Trustee and Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company; Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School
  • Mark A. Fuller, PhD
    Dean and Thomas O’Brien Endowed Chair, Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst
  • A. Yęmisi Jimoh, PhD
    Professor of Afro-American Studies in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department, UMass Amherst
  • Philip W.  Johnston, UMass Amherst ‘68
    UMass Trustee, Chair of UMass Building Authority, and President and Founder of Johnston Associates, LLC
  • James J. Karam, UMass Dartmouth ’71, ’01 (Hon)
    President and Founder of First Bristol Corporation
  • Mark A. Keroack, MD
    President and CEO of Baystate Health
  • Patrick Lowe
    Student Trustee, UMass Medical School
  • Katherine F. Ruiz De Luzuriaga, MD,
    UMass Memorial Health Care Chair in Biomedical Research; Director, UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Vice Provost, Clinical and Translational Research and Professor of Molecular Medicine, Pediatrics, and Medicine, UMass Medical School
  • Jacob D. Miller
    Student Trustee, UMass Dartmouth
  • Grant V. O’Rielly, PhD
    Professor of Physics, UMass Dartmouth
  • Kerri E. Osterhaus-Houle, MD, UMass Medical School ‘99
    UMass Trustee and Physician at Women’s Health of Central Massachusetts
  • R. Norman Peters, JD, UMass Medical School '04 (Hon)
    UMass Trustee and Founding Partner of Peters and Sowyrda
  • James A. Peyser
    UMass Trustee and Massachusetts Secretary of Education
  • Bala Sundaram, PhD
    Professor of Physics, UMass Boston
  • Marcellette G. Williams, PhD
    Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and International Relations, UMass President’s Office




Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-548-0238; Ann Scales, 617-287-4084