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Martin Meehan Elected 27th President of UMass

BOSTON — Martin Meehan, a former U.S. congressman who became chancellor of his alma mater, UMass Lowell, and transformed it into a highly ranked national research university, was unanimously elected today as the next president of the five-campus UMass system.

Meehan, the eldest of seven children, who used his UMass Lowell education as a springboard to a distinguished career in Congress and now to the presidency of the region’s largest and top-rated public university, said he was honored by the board’s action and eager to build on the work he has done at the Lowell campus.

“Serving as chancellor of my alma mater, UMass Lowell, for the last eight years has been the most fulfilling period of my professional life, so I am excited about the opportunity to lead the University of Massachusetts system,” said Meehan. He will succeed President Robert Caret, who will step down June 30 to become chancellor of the 12-campus University System of Maryland.

“I thank the UMass board of trustees and the presidential search committee for their confidence,” Meehan said. “Massachusetts is synonymous with the best in higher education. We will seek to strengthen our position as a world-class public university system that is accessible, affordable, and a catalyst for innovation and economic development in the Commonwealth.”

Meehan was one of two finalists chosen by the 21-member search committee, working with the executive search firm Korn Ferry. The other finalist was John Quelch, professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and the former dean, vice president, and distinguished professor of International Management at China Europe International Business School. Quelch was formerly chairman and member of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

The board of trustees met separately with each candidate in open session before voting to select Meehan as president. They cited Meehan’s strong record of achievement and success at UMass Lowell, his distinguished record of public service, his passion for UMass and its mission, and his ability to communicate and to inspire as being among the reasons for selecting him as the University’s 27th president. The former congressman will be the first UMass undergraduate alumnus to serve as president of the five-campus, 73,000-student system.

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