UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New chancellor of UMass Boston

Feb. 10, 2020—Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco was appointed as permanent Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston in a unanimous vote by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. 

An Argentinian immigrant, first generation college student, and community college transfer, Suárez-Orozco is Wasserman Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He’s worked as a professor at both Harvard and New York University. He will be the ninth Chancellor of UMass Boston since its founding in 1965.

The Dorchester Sun first reported on it—before the University of Massachusetts System sent out their email. Journalist Katie Lannan reported, “Norm Peters, the trustee who chaired the search committee, said the panel picked a candidate that ‘impressed and inspired us all,’ and UMass President Marty Meehan said Suárez-Orozco was a ‘distinguished scholar.’ ‘I can’t imagine a committee conducting a better process or bringing us a better result,’ Meehan said.”

President of the University of Massachusetts system, Marty Meehan, stated in his email: “UMass Boston is a special place that needs and deserves a special leader, and I believe Marcelo Suárez-Orozco is that leader. I look forward to working with him to create economic opportunity and ensure social justice for all of our citizens through the learning, discovery, and engagement that takes place at UMass Boston every day.”

In the press release from the Office of Communications, Suárez-Orozco talks about the new role. “It is an extraordinary honor for me, an immigrant from Latin America, who came to this country and was given the extraordinary gift of higher education of the great public university system in the state of California … I come before you with a promise that as the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, I will endeavor to the best of my abilities to be faithful to the fundamental idea that in public education we find the tools for the flourishing of the youth, young men and women of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

With the advent of a new Chancellor on the horizon, Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman will be on the way out. Newman explained where she was going in an email to the UMass Boston community, forwarding a press release. Meehan has “appointed Katherine Newman to be the inaugural System Chancellor of Academic Programs.” Happy with the $23.8 million she raised in her first year, “Newman will also hold the title of Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Economic Development.” Both roles have to do with economic growth at the University and academia.

In Newman’s welcoming email to the new Chancellor she says, “I look forward to completing the work we have to do in advance of his arrival and will be in active contact with Chancellor-elect Suárez-Orozco to be sure his vision is well represented in the planning process that must move forward this term.  I have every confidence in our ability to work together, just as I am certain he will be a roaring success for UMass Boston from the day of his appointment.”

During Suárez-Orozco’s visit to campus on Jan. 31, the new Chancellor was asked why he wants to be chancellor of UMass Boston. He replied, “Look at this beautiful campus, look at this exquisite faculty, look at the city of Boston. The city where so much of our history, especially in this location, has its roots. Why wouldn’t I want to be the chancellor of the great University of Massachusetts Boston?”