UMass-Amherst held its 46th annual community breakfast this morning, with over 300 University, municipal, and legislative leaders in attendance. The keynote speaker was UMass’ new chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy.
Subbaswamy underscored the essential nature of the relationship between the town of Amherst and the university, with its over 25,000 students.
“Managing student interaction with the community, and that they are responsible citizens, is really the challenge for us,” he says. “And likewise for the community, to make sure the infrastructure is there to handle the large number of young people who are a part of the community, that they feel welcome in the community, they feel like part of the community, is really the other side of the coin.”
Subbaswamy is the campus’ fourth chancellor in eleven years. Amehrst State Senator Stan Rosenberg says Subbaswamy has made a positive impression on him so far. And Rosenberg adds the two met when Subbaswamy was selected in March.
“And as he walked out the door I said ‘one more thing, chancellor,’ and he turned around, and he looked really quite nervous at that moment, and I said ‘raise your right hand,’ and he raised his right hand. And I said ‘promise me you’ll stay at least ten years.’ He broke into a big smile and said, ‘I promise I’ll stay at least ten years.'”
Subbaswamy emphasized the importance of sustainability and responsibility as the student population of UMass continues to grow. Classes resume at UMass on Tuesday, September 4th.