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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

News Briefs

Alma Mater Is Rapper’s Delight

At a recent Faculty Council meeting, members voted to establish an Ad Hoc Alma Mater Committee to develop an alma mater for people to sing at commencement and other university festivities.

“Can it be a rap?” asked a grinning Louis Aponte-Pares.

“It has to be one MacKenzie can sing,” quipped Provost Paul Fonteyn, referring to Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance David MacKenzie, also known as Grandmaster Davy Mac down at The Mass Media’s offices.

Associate Chancellor Leaves

After four years in the chancellor’s office, Associate Chancellor Donna Smerlas is leaving UMass Boston, the latest administration official to do so.

Smerlas sat down next to the piles of paperwork stacked on her main table, which in turn were surrounded by flowers and gifts, and spoke of how she’s moving onto the next stage of her career, and how nobody ever really leaves the university.

“The future is limitless” for the university, she said, and during her tenure here she was impressed with the commitment of students and faculty. “They recognize the opportunities available to them,” she said, noting the “great energy” to the place.

Smerlas came to UMass Boston from the Kennedy Library. She had worked on its board of directors with then-Chancellor Sherry Penney. She leaves after twenty-four years working on Columbia Point, and plans to go into consulting, though her heart, she says, is in the non-profit world.

Provost Emphasizes Research and Grants

Provost Paul Fonteyn reported that searches for deans for the colleges of liberal arts, nursing and health sciences, management, and the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies are going well. “The candidates look pretty solid,” he told the Faculty Council at its third meeting of the semester.

The College of Science and Mathematics is applying for a long-time research grant (LTR), which includes the provision that any coastal research must go through UMass Boston. Fonteyn said the college was going after the grant “with a vengeance,” noting he believes the dean, Kenneth Sebens, formerly of the University of Maryland, has the intellectual capacity and national reputation to pull it off.

The provost also reported that university representatives were being sent out to the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of Maine to scout out GIS facilities. UMaine reportedly has the best in the Northeast, but the university aims to build a better one.