“Volume of Feedback” Postpones UMass Chancellor Search

May 21, 2018

BOSTON -- The University of Massachusetts, at the center of a long controversy over its acquisition of Mount Ida College, started the week in the news again following a Sunday afternoon announcement that the UMass Board was postponing a Monday meeting where it planned to tap a new UMass-Boston chancellor.

Feedback on three finalists for the post was due by the end of the day Friday and a spokesman for UMass President Martin Meehan indicated Sunday afternoon that Monday’s meeting, which had been scheduled for noon, was postponed “due to the volume of feedback.”

The postponement, according to spokesman Jeff Cournoyer, will give Meehan “time to process the feedback from all of the stakeholders on the three finalist candidates who were forwarded by the search committee.”

Most of the feedback was submitted “via confidential form,” according to Cournoyer, who added that “in general, there was just a lot more engagement with this than in previous searches, for various reasons.”

A new meeting date has not been posted and UMass plans to poll board members about their availability.

Higher education officials in Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania are the finalists for the chancellor’s post.

The UMass Boston Chancellor Search Committee on May 11 recommended finalists Kathy Humphrey, senior vice chancellor for engagement and secretary of the Board of Trustees at the University of Pittsburgh; Peter Lyons, vice provost and dean of perimeter college at Georgia State University; and Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University.

Former Bowdoin University President Barry Mills has been serving as interim chancellor. He joined UMass Boston in March 2017, three months before former chancellor Keith Motley stepped down.