New USM Chancellor Appointed: A Letter From Board of Regents Chair James Shea

Dear USM Community Members:

I am pleased to inform you that the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents has appointed Robert Caret as the fourth chancellor of the University System of Maryland, effective July 1, 2015.

Currently president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts, Dr. Caret served as president of Towson University, one of USM’s 12 institutions, from 2003 to 2011.

The USM Board extended this offer after an extensive, inclusive, and deliberative national search. We very much appreciate the work of the search-and-screening committee ably led by Rick Berndt, a Baltimore attorney and former USM regent. The search committee submitted a group of highly qualified finalists to the board for consideration. The board determined that Dr. Caret possessed the combination of experience, insight, leadership, and knowledge, and vision necessary to guide the USM and serve the state of Maryland in the years ahead.

As president of the University of Massachusetts, that state’s public research university system, Dr. Caret established a well-deserved reputation for focused and innovative leadership, even as he navigated challenging economic and political waters. Most notably, the productive ties he established with state leadership resulted in additional state funding that allowed UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.

At Towson University, Dr. Caret’s bold, transformative guidance was instrumental in the rise of the university in collegiate rankings, a major building boom on campus, a 200 percent growth in funded research, a fundraising campaign that exceeded its goal while establishing a true culture of philanthropy at Towson, and a significant increase in graduation rates.

It is this unique combination of extensive experience as a successful, impactful system- and university-level executive and a deep understanding of our state that makes him the right choice to lead our university system at this time.

Clearly, Dr. Caret has big shoes to fill as he takes over for Chancellor Brit Kirwan. Under Chancellor Kirwan’s leadership, the USM has established itself as a national model in several areas, including academic and research excellence and innovation, efficiency and cost containment, and access and affordability for our students.

Our university system is indeed fortunate to have had Chancellor Kirwan’s leadership for such an extended period of time. I would submit that we are equally fortunate to be welcoming Dr. Robert Caret as the next chancellor of the University System of Maryland.

Sincerely yours,

James L. Shea, Chairman
Board of Regents

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