UMass system president Robert Caret says he won't be sharing any new information on the reasons for the departure of current UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub, who announced in June that he will leave at the end of the academic year. Caret says his focus is on selecting Holub's successor.
"The outcome has not been what we wanted. What you want is someone who can lead a research intensive campus, a research one flagship campus, so we need to make sure we don't just get someone who's using this as a stepping stone, I'm not saying anyone else has ever done that but really wants to be here. And we need someone – and this is never easy to figure out – but we need someone who's ready to stay for awhile."
Caret says Amherst is ranked among the top 50 public universities in the country, and he wants it in the top 25. When talking about getting to know the faculty, Caret emphasizes that he's been president of two other schools – Towson, in Maryland, and San Jose State, in California. He says that in most places the faculty's concerns are the same.
"The faculty feel, for lack of a better term, unloved. That they've been not given the kind of support they need, not at the campus level, but really statewide, in terms of not getting the recognition they need to help this campus become a top 25. Now I would say some of that is probably true. Partly because of budgets, partly because of the history and culture of the state vis-a-vis the private instutition, partly because of the politics of the system, perhaps."
The search committee for a new UMass Amherst chancellor will send a small number of finalists to Caret, who in turn will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. No timetable has been set for those decisions.