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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Interim Dean Strives to Improve McCormack Graduate School Image

Jackson+was+educated+at+Harvard+University%2C+where+he+received+an+AB+and+a+Masters+in+public+administration.+He+is+a+distinguished+scholar+with+the+Legatum+Center+for+Development+and+Entrepreneurship+at+the+Massachusetts+Institute+of+Technology+and+a+former+Massachusetts+Commissioner+of+Revenue+under+Governor+Michael+Dukakis.%0A

Jackson was educated at Harvard University, where he received an AB and a Master’s in public administration. He is a distinguished scholar with the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue under Governor Michael Dukakis.

“My first responsibility is to sustain the momentum, the energy and the success, and not to screw things up,” said Ira Jackson, the new interim dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

The McCormack School’s mission is to advance a more productive, equitable, and sustainable world through education, research, and public service.

On Dec. 19, 2012, UMass Boston announced that Jackson would replace McCormack’s acting dean, Professor Connie Chan, and founding dean, Stephen Crosby, who is currently serving as the chairman of Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Jackson was educated at Harvard University, where he received an AB and a Master’s in public administration. He is a distinguished scholar with the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue under Governor Michael Dukakis.

As a new dean of this school, Jackson stated that one of his roles is to improve its communications within the university, and with decision makers and other stakeholders. As he put it, “I don’t think our stories are well enough known. I don’t think our strengths are well enough revealed. I don’t think students here on campus know enough about us. I don’t think policy makers on Beacon Hill [or] at Washington are well enough informed about the work we do.”

He added, “I want to reach out the undergraduate world and population here at UMass Boston. We need to create a greater sense of community.” Jackson holds a community breakfast every Tuesday morning, and all members of the UMass Boston community are invited. 

Elizabeth Sanchez, assistant to the dean, is impressed with Jackson’s willingness to cooperate with employees. “It has been wonderful to work with him,” she declared.

Jackson praised his predecessors for establishing “a committed and mission-driven group of excellence.” He went on to proclaim his love for UMass Boston’s scholarship, students, diversity and faculty.

“I feel a special entrepreneurial sense of energy within the school,” he said.

When Jackson was appointed, Provost Winston Langley, wrote on the UMass Boston’s website that the new dean’s “top priority is to ensure that the fine work of the McCormack School would continue, with no loss of purpose, effectiveness, or momentum.” Langley added that he “has total confidence that Ira Jackson is the person who can best support and build upon those priorities.”

Jackson intends to focus on fundraising during his tenure as dean. “I want to raise some money [because] we need to continue to be entrepreneurial and innovative,” he said. “I want to leave [the school] stronger than I found it.”