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Caret leaving Towson to take over UMass presidency

13 January 2011 By Daniel Gross, Editor-in-Chief 2 Comments
TU President addresses faculty and staff on 'rare opportunity'

Winter Commencement 2011 - Emma Jackson/ The Towerlight

Winter Commencement 2011 - Emma Jackson/ The Towerlight

(UPDATED: Friday, 11:58 a.m.) Towson University President Robert Caret has been selected by the University of Massachusetts to take over the system and its five-campuses as the next president. He will be leaving Baltimore’s metropolitan university and its continual master plan  to take on the larger role in New England.

Caret sent a message to all faculty and staff at TU to notify the campus of his new endeavor:

“One has to grasp opportunities when they are available. The rare opportunity that led to my selection as President of the University of Massachusetts System was one I felt compelled to explore. I have enjoyed being part of Towson University for close to thirty years. We have made great progress and the campus has grown in both size and quality over that period. Our rapid progress and achievement during my tenure would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. We have a great team at Towson and I will miss you immensely. I take great pleasure in knowing that each of you will continue the work we have initiated together. Keep the momentum going.”

Caret was selected Thursday evening in a unanimous vote by the board of trustees after several months of the search committee seeking and interviewing potential candidates.

“We are pleased to announce that Robert L. Caret will become the next president of the University of Massachusetts,” James Karam, head of the search committee and acting chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, said in a UMass press release. “After conducting an exhaustive search, we selected a president with the qualifications, the character, and the vision to lead our university system forward and to build upon the strengths of our world class university system.”
As the future president of UMass set to take over in June, Caret will oversee the entire system, its five-campuses and its 65,000 students.  He will succeed current president Jack Wilson, who has served as the UMass president since 2003.
Caret was in the running with two other top candidates, who each went through the final round of interviews. Phillip Clay is the chancellor at MIT. Charles Bantz os the chancellor of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.
The Globe reported that Massachusetts education secretary Paul Reville said that he strongly supported Clay’s candidacy because of his accomplishments at MIT, but he “enthusiastically supports” the board’s decision in choosing Caret.
“I was very impressed with all three of the finalists. They were quite different … No one of them was perfect but each was strong,” Reville said. “I was overwhelmingly impressed with the management experience of Robert Caret.”
Caret became the 12th president of Towson University in 2003. He was a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost at Towson for 21 years before assuming the presidency of San Jose State Unviersity in 1995.
Caret has strong ties to New England, graduating from Suffolk University in Boston in 1969 and receiving a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1974.
According to Towson provost Marcia Welsh in a December interview, a strategic plan has been in place if Caret were to leave and a search committee will be set up to seek the next candidate capable of serving as the president of the University.

One has to grasp opportunities when they are available.  The rare opportunity that led to my selection as President of the University of Massachusetts System was one I felt compelled to explore. I have enjoyed being part of Towson University for close to thirty years.  We have made great progress and the campus has grown in both size and quality over that period. Our rapid progress and achievement during my tenure would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. We have a great team at Towson and I will miss you immensely.  I take great pleasure in knowing that each of you will continue the work we have initiated together. Keep the momentum going.< ><–>


2 Comments »

  • Matt Sikorski said:

    As a student who has come to appreciate the work that President Caret has done I am a bit worried about his departure.

    In his 7 years as President, Caret has been able to expand Towson in more ways than were probably thought possible. We have grown from just a safety school, to many students’ top choices; expanding in facilities, numbers, and gaining awards along the way.

    With him leaving I hope the members of the search committee will make sure to choose a candidate who is as high powered, well spoken, and driven as Caret to help Towson continue in its growth, and making it a premiere University on the East Coast.

  • Patrick Dieguez said:

    I agree, Matt. President Caret was unapologetically pro-Towson – both in the legislature and throughout the system. This approach might have ruffled some feathers along the way, but it was a good ruffling of feathers. It challenged the status quo, and his charisma helped temper the naysayers. He was always guided by the understanding Towson was the premiere school of the state. Wasn’t surprised he received the job at UMass and they will be happy to have him.

    And you’re right, the search committee needs to find someone with as much, if not more, drive to bring Towson to the status, respect, and renown it deserves. I think the Chancellor knows this and I look forward to seeing what candidates are brought out of the search.

    As an aside, I think it’s a testament to the caliber of the administration that the former provost Dr. James Clements is now President of WVU and our outgoing president is now UMass President-elect.

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