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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Chancellor candidate finalist visits campus

Jan. 31—The finalist candidate for Chancellor came to the University of Massachusetts Boston’s campus for a day long visit. 

The UMass Boston Chancellor Search Committee ended their search with Dr. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. 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. 

Suárez-Orozco talked to students, faculty and staff, and more throughout the day. Reporters were able to speak to both Suárez-Orozco and Marty Meehan, president of the UMass system in the morning. During this, the candidate was asked why he wants to be chancellor of UMass Boston. He responded, “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?”

He was then asked, “What do you think your greatest challenge will be?” He responded, “No hablo inglés, there are no challenges that are too big. That’s the work. I think learning obviously… I think the legislature, connecting the ways and learning the faculty. I think getting to know, again, the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

The student meeting had around 20 participants with people streaming in as it went. A lot of student questions had Suárez-Orozco asking to learn more about the campus and the student body. One student asked him about a collective UMass Boston culture. “I need your help and advice. I have some ideas but I don’t have enough [information].” 

He explained his background with his parents being teachers: “Education is the most important tool to improve human lives. I was very early on imprinted on the idea that service is one of the highest calls. I was fortunate to migrate to the United States; I was fortunate to migrate to the great state of California. In California, I learned English, I worked during the day and at night went to night school to learn English. I enrolled in community college, not in Southern California, but in Northern California. Then I was blessed to transfer to the great, great University of California Berkeley.”

He has worked with many issues regarding immigration, education, and their roles within globalization at UCLA and his other universities. Suárez-Orozco worked as a professor at New York University and at Harvard University. “After two decades at two major private research universities, I was a professor at Harvard University, I was a professor at NYU where we developed a very significant undertaking to study three basic domains which I find very, very central to issues facing Boston today. One is education—how should education look? Now and moving forward, at a time when there are so many extraordinary changes in both economy and society. At a time when artificial intelligence—at a time when robotics—at a time when so many domains of our economy are being transformed by new technologies. Second, the study of a really fundamental theme of the history of our country, and that [theme] is immigration. We are a country of immigrants, we are a country of immigration; other than the original people, the first peoples, all of us came either as refugees, as involuntary immigrants—slave trade—or as immigrants either escaping or looking for something better in life. So that’s my second area of expertise. We developed a number of scholarly works trying to understand how immigration affects the family, affects the children, affects the society… ” He went on to explain the three Ms of globalization: markets, media technology, and migration. “People are always on the move.”

Anyone with feedback regarding the chancellor candidate and what they think about him should reach out to Student Trustee Kush Patel at [email protected]