News 2011: UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announces retirement

News 2011: UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announces retirement
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announces retirement

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announced today that she will retire from the University at the end of this academic year.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack announced today that she will retire from the University at the end of this academic year.

In a letter to University of Massachusetts President Robert Caret, Dr. MacCormack stated: "This has been a difficult decision for me because I am enthusiastic about your leadership and optimistic about the future of the University of Massachusetts. It has been a pleasure to work with you as you make your own transition. I am confident that despite all the challenges, your leadership will move UMass forward."

"I also know that this is the right time for a leadership transition at UMass Dartmouth,'' Dr. MacCormack continued. "New energy, new perspective, and new ideas will allow this amazing campus to continue its growth and enhance its ability to perform its mission effectively...UMass Dartmouth is already a model of a University whose teaching and discovery is fully engaged in the life of its community. I am sure that this campus will be attractive to higher education leaders who strive to be entrepreneurial and bold. With a first-rate faculty and staff, supportive business and civic community, and students who recognize higher education as the ticket to a good life, there is a strong foundation to build upon."

Chancellor MacCormack notified the campus community of her decision this morning at the annual faculty/staff convocation breakfast and in a campus-wide email.

"Jean MacCormack has made an almost immeasurable contribution to the University of Massachusetts, first during her years as a senior official at UMass Boston and more recently as Chancellor of our Dartmouth campus," said UMass President Robert L. Caret. "As Chancellor, Jean has presided over an era of unprecedented growth at UMass Dartmouth -- building enrollment, developing the South Coast Innovation Triangle and leading the fight to create the state's first public law school. I am pleased that I will be able to serve with her over the next year and will always draw inspiration from her record of accomplishment and from her many contributions to our students, our University and our Commonwealth."

"Chancellor Jean MacCormack has made an enormous contribution to UMass Dartmouth and to the South Coast during her years in office," said James J. Karam, chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. "Jean has always understood that educational opportunity was vital to our area and has worked tirelessly to make sure that education of the highest quality was available to all of our citizens. Chancellor MacCormack has worked to transform lives and in the process has transformed our region. She has championed the South Coast and has our undying gratitude."

Dr. MacCormack was named chancellor of UMass Dartmouth in September, 1999. Previously, she served 12 years in senior leadership positions at UMass Boston.

Dr. MacCormack has led the campus through a decade of major transformation, including last year's historic opening of the UMass School of Law, the state's first public law school. Since her arrival on the campus:

* Growth and aspiration has been the theme, and enrollment has grown from 6,900 to 9,400 and is poised to grow to 10,000.
* Establishment of the UMass School of Law and the School of Education, Public Policy, and Education.
* Residential housing has nearly doubled to 4,500 beds.
* Research funding has grown from $7 million to $26 million annually.
* More than 150 new and innovative faculty have been attracted to the campus because of its mission and accomplishments.
* Annual private support has grown from $3.9 million to $16 million.
* Facilities have been expanded on campus and throughout the SouthCoast, including the Star Store Arts campus in New Bedford, Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center in Fall River, Charlton College of Business, Research Building, classroom upgrades, new fitness center, athletic fields, the Law School in Dartmouth, and the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives

These accomplishments have been achieved through the creative collaboration of administration, staff, faculty and students as state support for the campus has dropped from 45 percent of the operating budget to 20 percent.

In her letter to President Caret, Dr. MacCormack stressed that she intends to complete some "unfinished business here on the SouthCoast," including:

* Placing expansion of SMAST and construction of the Bio-Manufacturing Center on firm paths toward completion.
* Securing ABA accreditation for the law school.
* Moving the major renovation and transformation of the Claire T. Carney Library to completion.
* Re-engineering enrollment and retention strategies to address a changing marketplace.

"It has been inspiring to lead a faculty and staff who deserve the credit for creating an environment where students can develop into the Commonwealth's future leaders," Dr. MacCormack wrote. "I have had the honor of presiding over the graduation of 16,557 students during my time here. They included a Lost Boy of the Sudan and the historic first class of the Commonwealth's public law school. What a blessing this has been. I will be forever grateful."

More on Chancellor MacCormack

Embedding the University in economic and social development of the region and Commonwealth has been at the center of Dr. MacCormack's leadership agenda. The University earned Carnegie classification as a civic engagement campus in 2009 and for the past two years has been named to the President's Community Service Honor Roll.

Under D. MacCormack's leadership, the University has invested its talent and energy in surrounding communities through major satellite sites such as the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center in Fall River and the College of Visual and Performing Arts center in downtown New Bedford. The University is also in the process of expanding its School for Marine Science and Technology in New Bedford, and is building a bio-manufacturing center in Fall River.

In addition, Dr. MacCormack has positioned the University has a leader in the regional effort to improve K-12 education, especially in urban centers. In 2008, she established a new School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement to array the university's intellectual capital and student energy to improve educational attainment throughout the region. She also positioned the University to support ventures such as the Global Learning Public Charter School and the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford to create innovative approaches to teaching and to excite young people about math and science.

Chancellor MacCormack as been a key supporter of the University-based SouthCoast Development Partnership and SouthCoast Education Compact, which are developing sustainable regional approaches to economic development and educational attainment challenges.

Dr. MacCormack has been an active member of the national Campus Compact, which advocates and supports university public service. Dr. MacCormack was named 2005 SouthCoast Woman of the Year by the New Bedford Standard-Times newspaper.

Dr. MacCormack earned a bachelor's degree in literature and fine arts from Emmanuel College, and a master's and doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.