"We are pleased to announce that Robert L. Caret will become the next president of the University of Massachusetts," said James J. Karam, head of the search committee and acting chair of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. "After conducting an exhaustive search, we selected a president with the qualifications, the character and the vision to lead our university system forward and to build upon the strengths of our world-class university system."
"It is an honor to have been asked to lead this world-class and world-renowned university system," President-elect Caret said. "The University of Massachusetts is one of the nation's premiere public research universities and provides a beacon of hope and opportunity for so many. I look forward to building upon its tradition of excellence in academics, research and public service."
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said, "This is an exciting day for the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Caret is a distinguished and dynamic leader who will advance the mission of the university across the Commonwealth, building on the great work of President Wilson. I look forward to working with him as we build higher education opportunities for our students and strengthen the economic and social fabric of our communities."
Caret, 63, has been the president of Towson University since 2003. Caret served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost of Towson University for 21 years before leaving to assume the presidency of San Jose State University in 1995. Caret is credited with helping to reinvigorate the San Jose State University campus, and he championed a joint city/university effort to build the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library there.
As president of Towson University, Caret has created partnerships with regional business, non-profit, and civic organizations in Maryland. He became a founding member of the Maryland Business Council in 2004 and serves as the Honorary Chairman of the Maryland Council on Education. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the CollegeBound Foundation, the Board of Governors for the Center Club, the Governor's Workforce Investment Board and the P-20 Leadership Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors for 1st Mariner Bancorp and on the Board of Advisors for Evergreen Capital LLC. He was inducted into the Baltimore County Chamber Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and was awarded the Towson University Hillel Gesher Award in 2010.
Caret is a member of the University of Maryland Foundation Board of Directors. He recently served on the NCAA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics and is a member of its Presidential Advisory Group and Football Academic Working Group. He also has served on the American Flag Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of the American Council of Education (ACE) and the Board of Directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). He currently serves on the Executive Steering Committee of the AASCU Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI).
Caret has authored many articles on chemistry, chemical education and higher education for business and professional publications. He is the co-author of four textbooks in the fields of organic chemistry and allied health chemistry. The Maryland Chapter of the American Chemical Society recognized Caret's achievements by honoring him with the George L. Braude Award in 2005.
He is a native of Maine who received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Suffolk University in 1969. Caret's honorary degrees include a Doctor of Humane Letters from San Jose State University (2004) and National Hispanic University (1997) and a Doctor of Science degree from Suffolk University (1996).
Current UMass President Wilson is retiring from the presidency after eight years to return to teaching. He will become the Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies and Innovation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.