2021 2021: Mark Fuller named UMass Dartmouth Chancellor
Mark Fuller named UMass Dartmouth Chancellor

Former UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor and Isenberg School of Management Dean selected after seven months of effective leadership as interim chancellor

Chancellor Fuller

BOSTON - Dr. Mark Fuller, who has served as interim chancellor of UMass Dartmouth since January, was named permanent chancellor today. Dr. Fuller has served in the interim capacity since January, following nine years as dean of the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management, which rose to national prominence under his leadership, and three years as UMass Amherst Vice Chancellor for Advancement.

“Over the last seven months, Dr. Fuller has proven himself to be a good listener, a passionate advocate, a sincere collaborator, and a strategic common-sense decision-maker,” UMass President Marty Meehan said when recommending Dr. Fuller to the UMass Board of Trustees. “He has been tested by the pandemic and all of the challenges it has created. He has responded with focus and grace, always keeping the well-being of students, staff, and faculty front and center. As a first-generation college student who worked his way through school, he understands the challenges today’s students face and is tireless in helping them succeed. I look forward to working with Mark to advance the UMass Dartmouth mission.”

“With his breadth and depth of experience, his perspective as a first-generation college student, and his track record of success, Mark Fuller is the ideal leader to serve as chancellor of UMass Dartmouth at this pivotal moment,” said UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Manning. “Dr. Fuller will bring the stability and results-driven focus needed for UMass Dartmouth to excel on a rapidly changing higher education landscape.”

"I am honored by the trust that President Meehan, Chair Manning, and the Board of Trustees are placing in me,” Dr. Fuller said. “Over the last seven months I have been inspired by the students, faculty, and staff of UMass Dartmouth and by the people and civic leadership of the SouthCoast. I’m excited about the spirit of collaboration, inclusion, perseverance, and innovation that I have found in confronting the challenges posed by the pandemic and in creating new cultural and economic opportunity across the region. These are qualities that are critical to sustaining an environment of learning and discovery. I look forward to making the SouthCoast my home and accelerating the work we have started for our students and the community.”

“Mark Fuller’s success working with business leaders to build a university community that ensures students graduate with the skills they need to compete in the global economy will benefit the region, the Commonwealth, and UMass Dartmouth students,” said UMass Trustee Stephen Karam, a Principal of the Karam Financial Group in Fall River, and chair of the UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search Committee. “His leadership will be a valuable asset to the campus and the entire UMass system.”

“As an anchor institution of the region and a university that thousands of young people are counting on to make their dreams come true, UMass Dartmouth needs strong, innovative, collaborative leadership, and Mark Fuller embodies those qualities,” said UMass Trustee Julie Ramos Gagliardi, a First Vice President of Corporate Giving and Community Relations at BayCoast Bank.

“(Mark Fuller) has got the tools to do what is right,” said Steve Tolman, President of Massachusetts AFL-CIO, UMass Trustee, and member of the Search Committee. “So, I’m just very excited. I think he’ll make a great chancellor, and I’m interested in watching him bring that university to where we all want it to be.”

“The faculty are very pleased that Mark Fuller will be joining us as the next Chancellor,” said Professor Doug Roscoe, President of the UMass Dartmouth Faculty Senate and member of the Search Committee. “In his time here as Interim Chancellor, we have been very impressed with his commitment to data-driven decision making and his willingness to listen openly and genuinely to faculty and other campus and community stakeholders. There were many exceptional people in the group, but Mark Fuller was exemplary on every dimension. Most importantly, he's a genuinely nice person with a true passion for public higher education.”

“Chancellor Fuller stands out as an exemplary candidate whose experience uniquely prepares him to take a leadership role at UMass Dartmouth,” said Professor Ziddi Msangi, a member of the Search Committee. “In the short time Chancellor Fuller has been on campus, he has already identified key areas for growth and improvement including: strengthening our branding message, increasing enrollment through data driven decision making, and a stated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for all members of the university community."

“Mark is a great fit for the SouthCoast," said State Rep. Christopher M. Markey, D-Dartmouth. “His extraordinary public higher education track record and his personal background allow him to relate very closely with the people of the region. I look forward to working with him.”

“Mark is a phenomenal asset to UMass Dartmouth,” said Matthew Witzgall, President of the UMass Dartmouth Alumni Association. “I have seen him lead the university with data driven decisions, and through empathy and understanding of the university culture. Mark did not come in and shake the ship, but instead listened and learned.”

“Mark Fuller is a strong leader who will continue to elevate the UMass Dartmouth campus and advance educational opportunities for UMass students and their families,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, who served on the Search Committee. “President Meehan and the Board of Trustees have made an outstanding choice.”

“Mark has proven to be an accomplished leader and I know that he will do exceptional work for UMass Dartmouth,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “I have seen him engage students, faculty, alumni, donors, and external partners in transforming our business school, and then in his role as Vice Chancellor. I know he will bring the same collaborative style and strategic thinking to UMass Dartmouth.”

More about Mark Fuller

Dr. Fuller spent 12 years in the UMass system prior to being named interim chancellor in January, including nine transformative years at Isenberg, which is now ranked as the number one public undergraduate business program in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report. Isenberg's online MBA program, rose to a No. 1 ranking in the nation, and No. 3 in the world, according to the Financial Times. With an alumni base of 60,000 (similar to that of UMass Dartmouth), the annual giving to the Isenberg School increased from $2 million to $10 million on his watch.

As Vice Chancellor for Advancement for three years, Dr. Fuller was a key player in redesigning UMass Amherst’s Advancement activities, building greater coordination between alumni communications, engagement, and fundraising. 

Prior to joining the UMass system, Dr. Fuller was a professor and department chair at Washington State University for nine years and began his career in academia with eight years at Baylor University. His research interests are especially relevant to today’s world, including technology supported learning, distance education, and teamwork in technology-mediated environments. His teaching interests include executive education, leadership, information systems strategy, E-commerce, change management, and project management.

The youngest of four boys, Dr. Fuller is a first-generation college graduate. His mother raised him as a single parent after the death of his father when he was 5 years old. His mother worked to help put her son through school while he also helped pay his own way, working as a cardiac technician, and taking out loans while studying for his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and eventually a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

About the search process

The UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Search Committee was formed on April 14. The committee held 10 forums attended by 190 UMass Dartmouth stakeholders to learn about the challenges and opportunities at the university.  The national search firm Greenwood/Asher communicated with 370 prospective candidates and interviewed 95 of those candidates, resulting in 69 formal applications. The committee interviewed 11 candidates – a pool that was more diverse than the national market of university leaders. From those interviews, the committee identified four finalists who were brought to campus to meet with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community stakeholders. Attendees of those sessions were given opportunities to provide feedback on the candidates to President Meehan. 

More about UMass Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth is a national research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. UMass Dartmouth offers 55 undergraduate majors, 33 graduate programs, and 14 doctoral programs. Located on the SouthCoast, between Providence and Cape Cod, the university serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.