Daily News

Two Finalists Selected in UMass Amherst Chancellor Search

AMHERST — The UMass Amherst chancellor search committee has selected two finalists: Javier Reyes, interim chancellor at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC); and Paul Tikalsky, dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture & Technology at Oklahoma State University (OSU).

Since last July, Reyes has led UIC as interim chancellor. UIC is Chicago’s largest university campus, with more than 33,000 students. The university, which holds the R1 research status in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, is classified as a Minority Serving Institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution, and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

With more than $440 million in research awards, the institution ranks among the top 65 out of more than 650 national universities in federal research funding. Reyes is responsible for a $3.6 billion budget, 13,000 faculty and staff, and 16 academic colleges, including one of the nation’s largest medical schools and Chicago’s only public law school.

Prior to his service as interim chancellor, Reyes was provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at UIC. As provost, he advised on matters of academic policy, strategic direction, enrollment management, and academic resource planning. He was responsible for all academic affairs and for fulfilling the mission of providing students with inclusive access to academic excellence and opportunity. As chief academic officer for UIC, he worked to support and retain close to 3,000 faculty and recruit the next generation of diverse scholars, researchers, and medical professionals for the institution.

Tikalsky is completing his 11th year as dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology at OSU. A leading scholar in the development of long-life sustainable materials, Tikalsky is also known as an advocate for the public and land-grant university’s role in higher education, engaging diverse students in experiential learning and resourcing large-scale innovation in trans-disciplinary research.

Tikalsky has spent more than three decades as an award-winning professor and academic leader at public R1 and land-grant universities, raising more than $250 million for student success and scholarships, faculty support, and building world-class facilities for teaching and research. He successfully engaged state regents, industrial leaders, legislators, and public agencies to create the case that increased higher-education funding by more than $125 million over the next 10 years through the Oklahoma Engineering Initiative. At OSU, he has transformed the college with initiatives that finish more degrees in four years, provide pre-college bridge and STEM programs for students from economically disadvantaged communities, elevate academic standards, and increase the diversity of the students and faculty.

Previously, Tikalsky was chair of Civil & Environmental (Nuclear) Engineering at the University of Utah and the deputy director of the Larson Transportation Institute at Penn State University.