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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New Year, New Leadership

As the start of another academic year begins to take form, there are a few changes that members of the University of Massachusetts Boston community should be aware of. These changes are most prominently pertaining to leadership of the University.

The first, and perhaps the most important, is the change in chancellor. Effective as of June 30, J. Keith Motley stepped down from his post of chancellor, a position he held for 10 years. In place of Motley, former Bowdoin College president Barry Mills will act as interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Mills has been the interim chancellor for UMass Boston since July 1. It was noted that he will act in this capacity until the University’s “finances are stabilized and the university is positioned to attract a world-class chancellor through a global search.” Mills is not considered a candidate for permanent chancellor. In a memorandum sent to the campus community in July, Mills expressed that his role, first as deputy chancellor and now as interim chancellor, “is more than just a job, it’s personal, it’s a calling.”

The second major change in leadership is that of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Winston Langley. He stepped down from his position on August 15 after having served as provost for nine years. He first served as interim provost, then later in the permanent position.

Langley will be replaced by Emily McDermott, who served as associate provost and dean of faculty. McDermott will be acting as interim provost but it was not stated whether she would be considered as a candidate for the permanent position. McDermott has been at UMass Boston since 1974 and has since worked in various capacities at the university.

Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives and Dean of Graduate Studies, Zong-Guo Xia, served eight years in his current post. He will be returning to his former position: a professor in the Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences department in the School for the Environment.

The Physics Department Chair and Professor, Bala Sundaram, will replace Zong-Guo Xia as the new vice provost for research and strategic initiatives and dean of graduate studies. Sundaram, who started working at UMass Boston in 2006, is praised for his work in growing the physics department.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Marie Bowen was promoted to vice chancellor for human resources. Bowen recently started working at UMass Boston in January after working as an assistant vice chancellor for human resources at UMass Amherst.

In addition to all these changing roles, there will be new faces joining the UMass Boston community.

John Silvera is the new associate vice chancellor for student affairs/dean of students. Silvera started his position on June 12 after having worked at Northeastern University and Boston University in a similar capacity.

Nick Sweeton will also be joining the UMass Boston community as associate dean for housing and residence life. Sweeton starts his position on August 28. Before coming to UMass Boston, he worked as an executive director for the department of residence life and university housing at the University of Arizona.