UMass Lowell Chancellor Search begins

BOSTON - The University of Massachusetts today launched the search for a new UMass Lowell chancellor to succeed current Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, who announced last July that she would be retiring as the leader of the 18,000-student university following this academic year. The search will be conducted by a diverse 10-member committee announced today.

UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning, an alumnus of UMass Lowell, praised the makeup of the Committee. "The members of this Search Committee have the experience, expertise and passion for UMass Lowell success necessary to identify and advance highly qualified candidates for this critical leadership position,” he said. “I want to thank each member who has agreed to serve.”

“Strong leadership at UMass Lowell will be essential to continuing the momentum that this nationally ranked research university has continued to build under the stewardship of Chancellor Jacquie Moloney,” UMass President Marty Meehan, an alumnus and former chancellor of UMass Lowell, said. "The Committee named today will be tasked with conducting a search that will be comprehensive, transparent and inclusive."

Two UMass Lowell alumni -- UMass Trustee Mary Burns, and Jerry Colella, Chairman of MKS Instruments -- will co-chair the Committee. "UMass Lowell is a powerful engine for transformation and growth for the City of Lowell and the entire Merrimack Valley, as well as a vital asset for the Commonwealth and the nation," Burns and Colella said. "We look forward to working with our fellow committee members to identify a strong pool of candidates to lead UMass Lowell into a new era of achievement."

As with all chancellor searches at the University of Massachusetts, the Committee will seek input from a wide range of stakeholders, including community leaders, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors. A pool of candidates will be developed to submit to President Meehan, who will then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

A national executive search firm will be hired to assist with the recruitment process. Updates on the search and opportunities for feedback will be available at

UMass Lowell has enjoyed dramatic growth in research funding, private giving, and student applications over the past several years. As enrollment has increased – 48 percent since 2007 – so have the academic qualifications of UMass Lowell students, with a combined SAT of 1236 and 3.6 average GPA for last fall’s entering class. UMass Lowell is ranked among the top 200 research universities in the nation and the top 100 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Total annual research expenditures exceed $92 million. Among the more than 100,000 alumni worldwide, 60,000-plus live in Massachusetts.

The members of the Search Committee are:

  • Co-Chair: Mary Burns - UMass Trustee; Principal, Splash Media Group; UMass Lowell alumna (’84)
  • Co-Chair: Jerry Colella - Chairman, MKS Instruments; UMass Lowell alumnus (’78)
  • Michael Graves, PhD – UMass Lowell Associate Professor, Acting Chair, Department of Biological Sciences; President, Faculty Senate
  • Amy Hoey – Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Circle Health & Lowell General Hospital; UMass Lowell alumna (’88)  
  • Derek Houle - UMass Lowell Student Trustee, UMass Lowell Class of 2022
  • James R. Julian, Jr., JD – Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, UMass Office of the President
  • Carol McDonough, PhD – President, Massachusetts Society of Professors Lowell; UMass Lowell Professor of Economics
  • Noreen “Chioma” Okwara, MD - Internal Medicine Resident, Brigham & Women's Hospital; UMass Trustee; UMass Boston (’12) and UMass Chan Medical School (’17) alumna
  • Sandra Richtermeyer, PhD – Dean, UMass Lowell Manning School of Business
  • Mark Saab – Founder, Advanced Polymers, UMass Lowell alumnus (’81)

More about Chancellor Moloney

During her 38-year tenure, Chancellor Jacquie Moloney has served in numerous roles, including: professor, researcher, dean and executive vice chancellor to then-Chancellor Marty Meehan. She was named Chancellor in August 2015.

Under Chancellor Moloney’s leadership, UMass Lowell’s 2020 Strategic Plan led to record gains in student enrollment, academic preparedness, diversity, graduation and retention rates, and the addition of 19 new or renovated buildings. Moloney also launched the first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, raising $165 million by 2020 — $40 million more than the original $125 million goal. 

Moloney was an early pioneer in web-based learning and is considered a national leader in online education. Moloney also established the student entrepreneurial competition, DifferenceMaker, and recently named the Moloney Social Impact Fellowship Fund to enable students to engage in innovative experiential learning opportunities.