2016 2016: President Meehan: Introducing UMass Dartmouth's Interim Chancellor

2016 2016: President Meehan: Introducing UMass Dartmouth's Interim Chancellor
President Meehan: Introducing UMass Dartmouth's Interim Chancellor

Message from President Meehan on appointment of Dr. Peyton R. Helm

President Meehan is the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus University of Massachusetts system.
Dear Members of the UMass Dartmouth Community,

I am pleased to inform you that I am appointing Dr. Peyton R. Helm to the position of interim Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth.

After giving this matter extensive consideration and meeting with members of the UMass Dartmouth community and with candidates and other interested parties, it is my firm conviction that Dr. Helm is the right person for this important position. I believe he has the experience, the vision, the passion and the judgment needed to be an outstanding interim leader for your campus.

Randy Helm retired last year after leading Muhlenberg College for 12 years and was named President Emeritus by the college's trustees. Before his Muhlenberg presidency, Dr. Helm served as vice president for college relations and professor of classical studiesat Colby College and held leadership positions in student affairs and development at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Helm earned his undergraduate degree in archaeology from Yale University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a doctorate in ancient history from the University of Pennsylvania. At Muhlenberg, he also served as a professor of history and taught courses in Homeric Epic and Greek history. 

Dr. Helm was hailed for many impressive achievements during his presidency, including increasing the college's enrollment and endowment, working to build diversity, improving campus facilities and student life, and developing a new curriculum. He also was known for his accessibility to students and to all members of the college community.

Summing up his presidency, the chairman of Muhlenberg's Board of Trustees, Richard C. Crist,said: "Randy Helm has provided outstanding leadership to Muhlenberg for more than a decade. The college has a strong foundation and tremendous momentum thanks to his efforts."

This decision has taken some time, in part because I believe the interim chancellor may hold this position for some length of time, as we all work together to assess our current path and chart a course for the future. This is a process I envision unfolding prior to and throughout the formal search for a permanent chancellor.

Make no mistake about it, UMass Dartmouth is a distinguished institution with many significant strengths.

UMass Dartmouth's commitment to its students and to the SouthCoast is well known. Its rich tradition of civic engagement is exemplary and has attracted the highest national honors, and its growth as a research institution received the attention it deserved recently when UMass Dartmouth was officially designated as a doctoral research university. But, drawing on the ethos of the campus and the work ethic of the SouthCoast, we know we can always do better, and so we now move forward with higher goals and new horizons in mind, and I am confident that interim Chancellor Randy Helm will play a key role in this journey.

I look forward to this undertaking and to working with you as it unfolds.