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Kumble Subbaswamy named new chancellor for UMass-Amherst

Source : Massachusetts
March 27, 2012

 

AMHERST Kumble R. Subbaswamy, a physicist and provost at the University of Kentucky since 2006, will become the new chancellor at the University of Massachusetts after trustees Monday night voted to unanimously approve UMass President Robert L. Caret’s recommendation. 

He was selected over Carlos E. Santiago, an economist and chief executive officer of the Hispanic College Fund in Washington, D.C. 

Initially there were four finalists selected from 15 semi-finalists but two dropped out. 

Sona Karentz Andrews on Friday was named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Portland State University in Oregon, and Susan D. Phillips, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Albany/State University of New York withdrew her name from consideration.

Caret, in a prepared statement said “Moments like this define who we are as a University, what our values are, and what our vision is for ourselves and for the people of the Commonwealth. With that thought in mind, I am proud to recommend Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy — a man who has devoted his life to pursuing excellence, to opening doors and to serving others.” 


Subbaswamy reacted with energy and enthusiasm over being selected. 
“I’m excited. It’ a wonderful campus a wonderful town, a wonderful community,” he said. “I look forward to working with the campus.” 

He said he and Caret have not worked out the details of when he’ll begin but he expects it will be at the start of the new fiscal year July 1. 

Subbaswamy said he plans to visit the campus sometime next week. 

Subbaswamy, a native of Bangalore Karnataka, India, is known by the nickname “Swamy.“ 

During a recent visit to the campus, he stressed the importance of collaboration. “None of us is smarter than all of us,“ he said at the time. 

That means collaborating in all ways, including with the other campuses in the system. He elaborated on that after his campus meeting, stressing the importance of working with those campuses, Caret and the Board of Trustees. “UMass-Boston is not a competitor,“ he said. He said if he wanted to implement something on campus and “I can’t persuade the president of the system, I haven’t done my job.“ Reactions from faculty were supportive of the selection. 

“I think it’s a good choice,” said UMass professor Max Page. “There was an overall sense from across the campus he rose to the top. He seemed like a very genuine person, very honest. 

There’s no doubt he’s very accomplished. He wears it very lightly.” 

Computer Science professor Richard Adrion, a member of the search committee, said “I thought he was a great candidate He has a good sense of humor. He has a good track record.” 

Adrion said he talked to colleagues on campuses where Subbaswamy has worked and all had good things to say. “I think he’ll be a good chancellor. I’m optimistic.” 

He also praised the search, which he called “a good process. They turned up some really good candidates.” 

Subbaswamy was Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami from 1997 to 2000, and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington from 2000 to 2006. 

He will replace Chancellor Robert C. Holub who in a statement congratulated him and offered his support. 

In a statement released Tuesday night, Holub said “I will be doing everything I can to cooperate with Chancellor Subbaswamy and to ensure that the transition in leadership is smooth and productive. UMass Amherst is a great public research institution, and it has made tremendous progress since I arrived in the summer of 2008. I am confident that under Chancellor Subbaswamy’s leadership the campus will attain even greater success.“

 
 
 

 


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