UMass Boston Chancellor Search Committee holds first meeting

BOSTON — The UMass Boston Chancellor Search Committee, holding its inaugural meeting, today launched an effort to attract “world-class candidates” for the 16,000-student urban public research university.

Search committee member Robert Lewis, founder and president of The BASE, said the task ahead was identifying and recruiting candidates capable of leading “a world-class institution for a world-class city.”

Expressing similar sentiments, UMass President Marty Meehan said, “UMass Boston is in a great position to attract world-class candidates.”

Earlier this month, the UMass Board of Trustees established a search committee to assist in appointing a permanent successor to former UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley, who stepped down at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. Katherine Newman currently serves as interim chancellor.

“We are being asked to identify the very best candidates available to become the permanent chancellor of the campus that in a short period of time has become enormously important to this city, this state and to the world,” said R. Norman Peters, who is chairing the search committee and also serves on the UMass Board of Trustees.

“We think we’re going to be able to find an amazing leader,” said Jean Rhodes, Frank L. Boyden Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring at UMass Boston and vice chair of the search committee.

Rhodes also praised the composition of the 21-member search committee, which includes five members of the UMass Boston faculty and two UMass Boston deans who also hold faculty appointments. “We’re delighted that there’s so much faculty representation,” she said.

The committee received its official charge from Rob Manning, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

“The next permanent chancellor should have the skills, vision and determination to lead an already-outstanding urban public research university to new levels of accomplishment,” Manning said in a statement read to the committee.

The search committee will develop a pool of candidates and submit finalists to President Meehan, who will recommend one finalist to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Meehan said he was confident that the committee would succeed in its work given the level of commitment of its members.

“Each and every one of you has a passion for UMass Boston,” he said. 

A member of the five-campus UMass system, UMass Boston enrolled 16,164 students last year. Its 10 colleges and graduate schools attract students from 113 nations. UMass Boston generated $51.4 million in research funding in Fiscal Year 2018.

More information on the search can be found at: