2023 2023: Ramprasad Balasubramanian named Provost

2023 2023: Ramprasad Balasubramanian named Provost
Ramprasad Balasubramanian named Provost

Chancellor Mark Fuller appointed Dr. Ramprasad Balasubramanian, better known as Ram Bala, to serve as UMass Dartmouth’s next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Ram Bala headshot

On December 12, 2023, Chancellor Mark Fuller appointed Dr. Ramprasad Balasubramanian, better known as Ram Bala, to serve as UMass Dartmouth’s next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“During the past two decades, Ram has made a tremendous contribution to UMass Dartmouth’s academic and research success. I commend him for all he has done and will continue to do to support our students, faculty, and academic programs,” said Chancellor Fuller. “I would like to thank both excellent finalists for stepping forward to be considered for this crucial role.”

Ram has been a member of the UMass Dartmouth community for the last 24 years and has served in many faculty and administrative roles. After joining the University in 2000 as an Assistant Professor of Computer & Information Science, he was awarded tenure in 2006 and, in 2013, was promoted to the rank of Professor. From 2013-2017, Ram served as Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, helping to develop interdisciplinary data science programs, and leading the College through its ABET accreditation. He stepped up to become the Interim Dean in 2017 where he established a student support center and worked with the departments to establish concentrations in biomedical engineering, cybersecurity, and environmental resources engineering.

“I look forward to working with Chancellor Fuller, senior leadership, deans, faculty, and staff to guide the planning and shape the implementation of academic initiatives to support the campus’s mission,” said Provost Balasubramanian. “I am excited about the many positive trends we have seen over the past years, including growth in undergraduate and graduate enrollments, sponsored research, scholarship activities, and our national reputation as an anchor institution in the Southcoast. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve in this key role.”

In the fall of 2018, Ram moved to the Office of the Provost as Associate Provost for Decision Support and Strategic Initiatives, helping the University through a successful NECHE accreditation. Since the fall of 2020, he has served as the University’s chief research officer, first as Vice Provost for Research and Academic Affairs in 2020 and since 2022 as Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation. In this role, he has worked hard to increase support and grow scholarship and creative work across the campus, with funded research growing significantly and setting all-time highs in new awards, expenditures, and overall research portfolio. Finally, Ram has served twice as Interim Provost—in the Spring 2022 semester and again since July of this year. 

“I look forward to working with the faculty senate and the faculty federation to ensure faculty voices are heard and represented in realizing our shared ambition,” said Provost Balasubramanian. “I am deeply committed to supporting our students, faculty, and staff as we continue this exciting trajectory of growth and development.”

An active and accomplished scholar of underwater robotic autonomy and developing decision support systems, Ram’s research has been funded by the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 2019, he established the Marine and Undersea Technology (MUST) research program and has secured more than $16.5M to support 38 projects involving 55 UMass Dartmouth faculty, 30 external collaborators, and funding to support more than 140 graduate and undergraduate students at UMass Dartmouth.