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UMass Amherst Chancellor Search Begins

By Paul Tuthill


Amherst, MA – The search for a new chancellor for the University of Massachusetts Amherst is formally underway. The person heading up the search says he hopes to find a ..quote superstar to lead the flagship campus. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

At the first meeting of the chancellor search committee Wednesday, UMass president Robert Caret said he wants to find someone capable of elevating UMass Amherst to a top 25 national public research institution.
Caret stressed the next chancellor would need to fit in on the campus, and want to live in a college town, as opposed to a big city.
UMass Amherst has had four chancellors in ten years
The 18 member search committee includes a mix of university trustees, students, faculty and alumnae. It is chaired by Philip Johnston, a UMass Amherst graduate, and UMass Trustee who has had a long public service career in Massachusetts including stints in the state legislature, and as a cabinet secretary.
Johnston said the committee will hire a professional search firm to help it identify candidates for the job.
The University is seeking a successor to Chancellor Robert Holub, who is stepping down at the end of the current academic year. Holub , who was hired three years ago, received a poor job review last spring from an evaluation committee. UMass Amherst faculty faulted Holub for failing to effectively communicate with them and for an imperious management style.
Ideally the university would like to hire Holub's replacement in the Spring, but UMass Trustees Chairman James Karam said the search committee is under no official deadline.
Karam instructed the search committee to recommend three finalists, in no ranked order, to President Caret and the Board of Trustees. He too stressed the process would be transparent.
Last month, the Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley found the UMass presidential search committee, which Karam chaired, was guilty of widespread and serious violations of the state's open meeting law. As a result, the chancellor search committee's first meeting included a training session on the open meeting law.