UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Profile on Interim Chancellor Barry Mills

Pictured is Interim Chancellor Barry Mills.

Pictured is Interim Chancellor Barry Mills.

There is a new guy in town.

His name is Barry Mills and he is the new interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston. Mills has been on campus since early this year and has taken over the position of chancellor, effective July 1, from J. Keith Motley, the previous chancellor for 10 years.

Like many on campus, questions have been floating around about who he is and what he has done before becoming the interim chancellor at UMass Boston.

To start things off, Mills was the fourteenth president of Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine. He served as president of the institution for fourteen years before retiring in June of 2015.

He is popularly known as the former president for Bowdoin College where he worked to increase the college’s visibility nationally. He not only reformed the college’s curriculum completely, but also replaced student loans with grants for all students receiving financial aid. During his tenure at the institution, the college saw an increase by almost $1 billion dollars in endowments.

While Mills’ tenure at Bowdoin seemed to have brought significant changes, before he was president of the institution, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2000.

Long before he was a member of Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees or the president, Mills was also a student at the institution. Mills was born in Providence, Rhode Island and graduated from Pilgrim High School in Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1968.

From there, he went to Bowdoin College where he pursued a double major in biochemistry and government. He graduated cum laude from Bowdoin in 1972. He then went on to Syracuse University where he earned a doctorate in biology in 1976. He later went on to attend the Columbia University School of Law where he received his law degree and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

Mills worked at the Debevoise & Plimpton Law Firm in New York City, one of the nation’s most distinguished international law firms, where he became a partner. At Debevoise & Plimpton, his work included corporate law, real estate, and corporate finance.

Mills is married to Karen Gordon Mills with whom he has three sons: William, Henry, and George. She a former administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the Obama Administration. She is currently serving as a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. She graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude in 1975 with an economics degree and received a master’s of business administration from Harvard Business School in 1977. Gordon Mills is a member of the Harvard Corporation, also known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard’s principal fiduciary governing board.

Overall, Mills had proven to be an effective leader at Bowdoin College and one can only hope the same is true for UMass Boston.