News 2012: Chancellor finalists chosen

News 2012: Chancellor finalists chosen
Chancellor finalists chosen

Six candidates will visit campus in coming weeks

Six finalists for the Chancellor position at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth were selected today, as the search process took a major step forward.

The finalists selected by the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search Committee are:

- Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter, President of Frostburg State University
- Dr. Mary K. Grant, President of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
- Dr. Divina Grossman, Vice President of Engagement at Florida International University
- Dr. Daniel J. Julius, Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Alaska system
- Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens, Senior Vice President at George Mason University
- Dr. Jem Spectar, President of the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown.

"We are very pleased to bring forward a slate of extremely impressive finalist candidates, any one of whom has the potential to be a dynamic new leader for UMass Dartmouth," said Maria D. Furman, a UMass Trustee and UMass Dartmouth graduate who chaired the search committee. "The next Chancellor will guide UMass Dartmouth into a new era of growth and will be an important leader for the South Coast region," she said.

The search committee's recommendations have been forwarded to UMass President Robert L. Caret, who will recommend one of the finalists to the UMass Board of Trustees. The Board has the final say in selecting the new Chancellor.

The finalists are each expected to spend a day on the Dartmouth campus meeting with faculty, students, staff, alumni, community leaders, and other groups.

"The search committee has done a remarkable job in selecting well-qualified candidates whose experiences, interests, and skills match the needs of the Dartmouth campus and the South Coast region," said President Robert L. Caret. "We are eager to attract a Chancellor who will carry on Dartmouth's tradition of innovation and academic excellence and of working hard to foster economic and social progress in the region. These are the causes Chancellor MacCormack worked to advance and will remain our strong focus. The next Chancellor will have the great benefit of being able to build on the strong foundation Chancellor MacCormack has worked so hard to create."

Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack, who has led the Dartmouth campus since 1999, has announced plans to retire at the end of this academic year. Her leadership has been integral to building the campus into a major force for change, causing some to describe UMass Dartmouth as "the jewel of the South Coast." She has overseen expanded enrollment, the founding of the state's first public law school and the development of the South Coast Innovation Triangle, which later this year will include the new Massachusetts Biomanufacturing Center in Fall River.

James J. Karam, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees and a UMass Dartmouth graduate, praised the search committee for its work and for narrowing the field to such a distinguished group of academic leaders.

"This is an exciting moment for the Dartmouth campus as the next chapter of its history is written, and its future should be bright based on the quality of these finalists," he said. "It is my strong conviction that we will be able to select a fitting successor to Jean MacCormack."

The 19-member search committee, established by President Caret and the Board of Trustees in November, chose the finalists. The search was comprised of UMass students, faculty, staff, graduates and members of the Board of Trustees. Before setting about its work, the committee sought campus and regional input through campus forums in Dartmouth and meetings with area leaders. The University established a Chancellor-search website and created a leadership profile that was circulated nationally.

In Boston earlier this month, the search committee interviewed 12 candidates over two days before today selecting these six finalists:

Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter

Jonathan Gibralter has been president of Frostburg State University since 2006. Under his leadership, the University improved retention and graduation rates and eliminated the ``achievement gap'' between African-American and white students who now graduate at an equivalent rate. The University also renewed its focus on marketing, branding, and raising the institution's profile, completing a comprehensive $15 million campaign to build public and financial support. It also developed a strategic plan focused on sustainability, engagement, academics, and leadership. Dr. Gibralter worked in the mental health field before entering higher education, where he served for over 25 years as a faculty member and administrator. He earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton, a master's from New York University, and a doctorate from Syracuse University.


Dr. Mary K. Grant

Mary K. Grant, President of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, is an advocate for public higher education, civic engagement and community service. Under her leadership, MCLA has expanded academic programming and facilities, recruited new faculty, provided students with new study away, internship, research, and service opportunities, increased enrollment, and strengthened the connections between the college and the community. She serves on the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. Dr. Grant holds a PhD in social policy from The Heller School at Brandeis University, a Master's degree in public affairs from the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.


Dr. Divina Grossman

Divina Grossman is the founding Vice President of Engagement at Florida International University (FIU). She is formerly Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Nursing at FIU. As Dean, she spearheaded the growth and expansion of academic programs in Nursing and Health Sciences; created multi-institutional partnerships; raised approximately $12 million for scholarships, equipment, and faculty support; increased the College's endowment and research funding; collaborated in the development of the new FIU College of Medicine and the Academic Health Center; and completed the new $34 million Leed Silver-certified building for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Grossman holds a PhD in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania, M.S. in Nursing from the University of Miami, and a BS in Nursing from the University of Santo Tomas (Philippines).


Dr. Daniel J Julius

Daniel J. Julius is the Vice President for Academic Affairs for the University of Alaska system and Professor in the College of Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks. He has more than 30 years of experience in academic and research administration, having served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor at Benedictine University in Illinois; Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor at the University of San Francisco; Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Staff Relations for the California State University System; Director of Personnel Services for the Vermont State College System; and Director of the Center for Higher Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds BA in Humanities from The Ohio State University. He completed his graduate and post-graduate work in organizational behavior, industrial labor relations and higher education at Columbia and Stanford.


Dr. Maurice W. Scherrens

Maurice W. Scherrens has been Senior Vice President at George Mason University since 1996. He acts as chief operating officer, with additional responsibilities including local and state government relations, institutional planning and research, legislative affairs and distributive campus development. He provides oversight responsibilities for a $900 million annual operating budget, as well as leadership and operational guidance to areas including Intercollegiate Athletics, Fiscal Services and Human Resource Management. He has served George Mason University in a variety of managerial capacities since 1973. Dr. Scherrens received his EdD from the University of Southern California, JD from George Washington University, and both an MBA and Bachelor's in Business Administration from Central Michigan University.


Dr. Jem Spectar

Jem Spectar is President of the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown. Previously, he was Provost and Professor at Western Oregon University; Associate Provost and Professor at the University of Scranton; Director of Studies and Lecturer at Princeton University; and Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of Law at University of La Verne College of Law. He oversaw the implementation of a strategic plan that improved the University of Pittsburgh's rankings, retention, and graduation rates, and led to the construction of an $11 million wellness center and planning for a $12 million nursing and health science building. Dr. Spectar holds a BA in international studies from the University of La Verne; a MA from George Washington University; a MBA from Frostburg State University; a JD from University of Maryland School of Law; and a MA in politics and a PhD in political science from the Claremont Graduate University.

For the full bios on the Dartmouth finalists and to read more about the Chancellor search, visit

Contact: Ann Scales, 617-287-4084