Describing her as the right person to lead UMass Dartmouth into a new era of growth, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees today elected Dr. Divina Grossman as the new Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth.
The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Grossman, vice president for engagement at Florida International University, upon the recommendation of UMass President Robert L. Caret, who had been presented with six finalists selected by the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search Committee.
The appointment of Dr. Grossman culminates a search process that began last November and saw a 19-person search committee build a pool of 130 candidates, interview 12 distinguished academic leaders, and recommend six finalists for the position. The six finalist candidates each made daylong visits to the Dartmouth campus, meeting with students, faculty, staff, administrators, community leaders and other members of the University community.
"This was an open, thorough and energetic search, one that has resulted in the selection of the right leader for a campus that is essential to its region and serves the entire Commonwealth with great distinction," President Caret said.
"Divina Grossman has the experience, the vision, the drive and the passion to guide UMass Dartmouth to a new stage in its development, and in doing so, to better serve the needs of our students and the larger social and economic needs of the region," President Caret said. "I want to thank each of the finalist candidates who stepped forward to share their ideas, vision and passion with the University community. It was a very accomplished field and selecting among these distinguished candidates was not easy."
"A beacon of opportunity"
Dr. Grossman -- who has held two deanships, has taught and has a significant research record -- said she was "honored to be chosen for the position of Chancellor," adding: "I recognize with deep gratitude the confidence entrusted in me by Chairman James J. Karam, search committee Chair Maria Furman and the Board of Trustees, President Robert L. Caret, the University community and the residents of the SouthCoast who look to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth as a beacon of opportunity."
"Growing up in the Philippines as the daughter and granddaughter of teachers, I never dreamed nor imagined that becoming a university chancellor someday would be possible. Building on Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack's enormous successes and legacy, I am excited by this exceptional opportunity to lead the University in achieving its aspirations of future growth in research, innovative academic programs, and regional and global engagement.
"From the very beginning, I was inspired by UMass Dartmouth's mission as an intellectual catalyst for the economic, social and cultural development of the region and the Commonwealth.
I look forward shortly to moving to Dartmouth and working with the faculty, staff, students and the region's civic, political and business leaders. Together, we will enable young people to have access to a world-class education in a vibrant public research University located right in the SouthCoast and help them to make a difference in the world," Dr. Grossman said.
James J. Karam, chairman of the Board of Trustees and a UMass Dartmouth graduate, said: "We have great confidence in Dr. Grossman's ability to build on Chancellor MacCormack's record of achievement and maintain UMass Dartmouth's upward trajectory. I know that Dr. Grossman will be an outstanding Chancellor and will be a strong partner and advocate for the SouthCoast."
The UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search was chaired by Maria D. Furman, a member of the UMass Board of Trustees and a UMass Dartmouth graduate.
"I am proud to have chaired the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search Committee and look forward to Dr. Grossman providing new leadership and fostering new growth," Furman said.
"An era of transformation and growth"
Dr. Grossman will succeed Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack, who will retire at the end of this academic year after serving as Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth for 13 years. Before that, Chancellor MacCormack served in senior leadership roles at UMass Boston, including a stint as interim Chancellor.
"Chancellor MacCormack has presided over an era of transformation and growth at UMass Dartmouth," President Caret said. "Under her leadership, UMass Dartmouth saw its enrollment soar, witnessed the expansion of its academic and research programs, and experienced growth in quality on every front."
Chairman Karam said: "Jean MacCormack should be commended for her inspired and visionary leadership. Jean understood how critically important UMass Dartmouth is to the future of the SouthCoast and worked to build and transform the region. We should all be grateful for her commitment and leadership. Hers has been an era of accomplishment."
About Dr. Divina Grossman:
Divina Grossman, PhD, RN, ARNP, FAAN is the founding Vice President of Engagement at Florida International University. She is the immediate past Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and previously, the Dean of the School of Nursing at FIU.
Dr. Grossman established the Office of Engagement to provide leadership in implementing the FIU vision as a "public research university that is locally and globally engaged." Since her appointment as Vice President, she has successfully led FIU's Carnegie Community Engagement classification; the development of major university partnerships including Project ACCESS (Achieving Community Collaboration in Education and Student Success) with the Miami Dade County Public Schools; Life Sciences South Florida, a public-private collaborative initiative to develop an industry cluster in South Florida focusing on life sciences and biotechnology; Education Effect, a $1 million project funded by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to develop a university-assisted community school at Miami Northwestern High School in Liberty City; the development of the Florida Power and Light Customer Care Center and Internship Program; significant expansion of university-wide internship programs with corporations, community organizations and public and private agencies, and the implementation of a service learning initiative.
As Dean, Dr. Grossman spearheaded the growth and expansion of manifold new academic programs in Nursing and Health Sciences, created multi-institutional partnerships with community and state colleges, universities, hospital corporations and foundations; raised approximately $12 million for scholarships, laboratory and equipment, and faculty support, and multiplied seven-fold the College endowment; significantly increased faculty research grantsmanship and research funding; collaborated in the development of the new FIU College of Medicine and the Academic Health Center and the interprofessional, community-based curriculum for Neighborhood HELP; and completed the new $34 million, Leed Silver-certified building for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Dr. Grossman holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, M.S. in Nursing from the University of Miami, and a BS in Nursing from the University of Santo Tomas (Philippines).
Dr. Grossman has authored over 50 journal articles and textbook chapters and has conducted research in the areas of biological rhythms and fever management. She is a popular speaker and has made over 200 presentations in local, regional, national, and international conferences.
Dr. Grossman has taught Culture and Advanced Nursing Practice, Role Synthesis in Advanced Nursing Practice, Nursing Research, Research Consumer, Thesis I and Thesis II, Adult/Gerontological Physiologic Nursing, and Pharmacology.
Dr. Grossman's areas of research are blood pressure circadian rhythms, fever management, cultural diversity, cultural competence, and health disparities.
For more information on the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor search: