News: Press Releases

December 17, 2014

Statements on UMass President Robert L. Caret return to the University System of Maryland as chancellor and his accomplishments at UMass


University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas, III

President Caret has informed me that after much soul-searching and deliberation, he has accepted the position of Chancellor of the University System of Maryland. I am disappointed to be losing Bob as a leader but think we have all realized that this was a possibility since Brit Kirwan announced his decision to step down as Chancellor in Maryland earlier this year. While it is disappointing to lose a leader of President Caret’s accomplishment and stature, I think we can all understand Bob’s desire to return to the system where his career began and that served as his professional home for most of his career. Looking ahead, it is my intention to call a special meeting of the Board of Trustees in the near future to provide additional information and develop plans. Bob is a wise and tenacious leader, and the University of Massachusetts is a truly great university.  We are very confident about the road that lies ahead. I know you will join me in wishing Bob and his wife Liz well as they return to Maryland.

---Board of Trustees Chairman Henry M. Thomas, III


UMass President Robert L. Caret

While I am excited and energized to return to Maryland, where I have accepted the position of Chancellor at the University System of Maryland, at the same time, I’m saddened that I will be leaving the University of Massachusetts.  I have enjoyed my four years working for the benefit of the Commonwealth, but I could not say no to an offer to return to my home state where I will be closer to my family. I will not be leaving for several months and will work with the Board Chair, Henry Thomas, to ensure a smooth and successful transition to new leadership. It has been a great privilege to lead UMass, a world-class university.

---UMass President Robert L. Caret



When he arrived in 2011, President Caret introduced himself to the state with a listening tour, traveling 400 miles across the state, meeting with business, civic and educational leaders to stress the University’s historic mission as a land-grant university established to both educate the populace and stimulate the economy. The tour was well received by the public and opinion leaders and became an annual event, where he continued to emphasize the University’s research and development focus, its role as an incubator of innovation and entrepreneurship, and its $6.1 billion annual economic impact on the state.


Major achievements at the University of Massachusetts during Robert L. Caret’s presidency include:

  • The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, considered the most rigorous and influential comparison of universities internationally, ranking the UMass system among the Top 100 universities in the world and as the No. 1 public university in New England.
  • Total funds raised in FY 2014 reaching $117 million, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. UMass added a record 21,360 new donors in 2013-2014.
  • UMass opening its first system center, UMass at Springfield, in September 2014.
  • Release of UMass Performance: Accountable and On the Move, the first system-wide performance measurement report.
  • Instituting an Efficiency and Effectiveness program that allowed UMass to realize $226 million in budget savings since the initiative was put in place in 2011.
  • Record system-wide enrollment increases that brought total enrollment to 73,000 students in fall 2014.
  • Approval of a capital plan in December 2014 to authorize spending up to $3.4 billion on UMass construction and renovation over the next five years
  • Approval of a 50-50 funding program that increased state funding for UMass by $100 million over two years and allowed UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
  • Selection of new chancellors to lead UMass Amherst and UMass Dartmouth.
  • American Bar Association’s provisional accreditation of the Commonwealth’s only public law school, at UMass Dartmouth, in June 2012.
  • Opening of the Commonwealth Honors College complex at UMass Amherst, in fall 2013.
  • Securing $95 million grant from the Mass Life Sciences Center in June 2013, the largest economic development investment in the history of the University of Massachusetts, which brought MLSC’s total investment in UMass to more than a quarter billion dollars.
  • Opening of the Mass Green High-Performance Computing Center.
  • Dramatic improvements in the national rankings of UMass campuses in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey, including UMass Amherst rising to 30th among nation’s top public universities.




Contact: Robert P. Connolly, 617-287-7073; Ann Scales, 617-287-4084


Statement from the University System of Maryland: