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Press Release: Message to the university from President Jack Wilson

Message to the university from President Jack Wilson

A description of leadership changes at UMass Amherst, Boston, and the Medical School; statements from President Wilson and Chancellor MacCormack concerning the importance of collaboration.

Author:  John Hoey
Date:  May 16, 2007
Department:   Publications

Dear Friends:

Over the last several months, I have spoken to many members of our community about the strength of the University of Massachusetts as "one University" with five diverse campuses, but with a unified approach to fulfilling its mission of excellence in education, research and service.

Last week, when he received the President's Medal at UMass Night at the Pops, UMMS Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig Mello described it almost perfectly. He alluded to the power of synergy at the University of Massachusetts--that our whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

As one University, the University of Massachusetts has more than 500 undergraduate and graduate programs and $404 million in annual research expenditures and nearly 59,000 students--it is truly a world-class University.

In recent months, I have given a great deal of thought to assembling a very strong leadership team that will help move the entire University of Massachusetts system to the next level. As longtime campus leaders Bill Hogan and Aaron Lazare announced their retirements, and their legacies were profound and their shoes very hard to fill. However, I think we have found an excellent leader for the Lowell campus in Marty Meehan and later this week I plan to announce leadership changes that create a team of superb campus leaders who also join me to serve as the University's senior leadership team.

Over the last several months, I have consulted with many campus, alumni, business and political leaders and there is great consensus that that the University's reputation is on the rise and has never been higher. The University is truly indispensable to the Commonwealth, the nation and the world. While this is great news, taking the University to the next level will require all of us to come together and lead through example.   

I now have news to share with the University of Massachusetts community. I hope you will join me in welcoming these experienced leaders to their new posts.

I have asked Michael F. Collins, MD, to serve in a challenging and important new role as the University-wide Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and interim chancellor of the University Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Dr. Collins has served the University with distinction for two years as chancellor of UMass Boston, and I am appointing him to a position where he can direct the University's health sciences efforts.  There is no more important time for the future of life sciences initiatives for the University and the Commonwealth than right now, and Dr. Collins is ideally suited to provide critical strategic direction for the University and our premier academic health sciences center.

I have asked J. Keith Motley, Ph.D. to serve as the Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Motley is currently the Vice President for Business, Marketing and Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts President's Office. Prior to this, Dr. Motley served as Interim Chancellor of UMass Boston. He brings extensive higher education management and administrative skills as well as his trademark abilities to lead and inspire. He has been a University Vice President, Interim Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and a Dean during his 20-plus year career in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts and at Northeastern University.

After six years of service as Chancellor of our flagship campus in Amherst, John V. Lombardi, Ph.D., has agreed to finish the 2007-2008 academic year and then he will return to his important teaching and research. Dr. Lombardi will remain engaged as a special advisor to me and our senior leadership team as we take the University and the flagship campus to the next level of excellence -- continuing to unify the University system. Dr. Lombardi has served with distinction as Chancellor of the Amherst campus and has led important initiatives, including spearheading a major capital campaign and several major new building projects, including completing the first new dorms on the campus in several decades.

The University benefits from the insight of all of its leaders-- from the President, Board of Trustees to campus leaders and all members of the University's community of friends supporters. Together, our synergy is powerful.

You will receive more details about this official announcement over the next few days. Thank you for all that you do for the University of Massachusetts.


Jack M. Wilson, President
The University of Massachusetts



President Wilson said:

"Chancellor MacCormack and the UMass Dartmouth community have built a model of collaboration that advances the economic and social development of southeastern Massachusetts and the Commonwealth. UMass Dartmouth has forged strong alliances with its sister UMass campuses, state colleges, community colleges and private insitutions that provide us with a roadmap for success. The SouthCoast Development Partnership, a higher education and business partnership; CONNECT, the regional higher education consortium; and the SouthCoast Education Compact, the K-20 collaboration; are all examples that we can build upon."

Chancellor MacCormack said:

"UMass Dartmouth has grown in many ways since joining the UMass system in 1991. Throughout its history, our campus has evolved and grown by forming strong collaborations and partnerships. We look forward to even stronger relationships with our fellow UMass campuses as we strengthen our position as a top-flight regional research university focused on the social and economic development of southeastern Massachusetts and the Commonwealth."





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