Jacquie Moloney, the chancellor of UMass Lowell, is a national leader in innovation in higher education. Appointed by a unanimous vote of the UMass Board of Trustees in 2015, she is the first woman to lead the university since its founding in 1894. As chief administrator, she manages a budget exceeding $450 million, oversees the activities of nearly 2,000 employees and welcomes more than 18,000 students to campus each year. In 2017, Moloney was recognized as one of seven prominent “Women Who Mean Business” by the Boston Business Journal. Since that year, UMass Lowell has been ranked in the top 15 of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe Magazine and the Commonwealth Institute.
In her 37 years with UMass Lowell, Moloney has served in a number of roles, including professor, researcher, dean and executive vice chancellor. She was a pioneer in web-based learning and she revolutionized what is now the Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies to include award-winning online programs that today number more than 31,000 course enrollments from students across the nation each year. Moloney was also an early proponent of integrating entrepreneurial lessons and opportunities throughout campus life. She created UMass Lowell’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and established DifferenceMaker, a national model for entrepreneurial programming that engages more than 3,000 students a year in problem-solving activities and competitions.
As chancellor, Moloney led the campus to the successful completion of the UMass Lowell 2020 strategic plan, guiding the university community in meeting and, in many cases, exceeding ambitious goals. As a result, the university has emerged strong after facing the greatest institutional challenge in its history, the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last decade, UMass Lowell has achieved record gains in student enrollment, academic preparedness, diversity and graduation and retention rates. In addition, faculty hiring, research expenditures, fundraising and economic development activities have all reached new heights. Under Moloney’s oversight, UMass Lowell launched its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign with the objective of raising $125 million by 2020. The campaign met its goal two years ahead of schedule and surpassed it, raising $165 million. In the past decade, the campus has added 19 new or substantially renovated properties, increasing the campus’ square footage by nearly 60%.
A satellite campus in Haverhill was opened as a business incubator and a site for an executive education program. Hundreds of public-private partnerships have been established with firms ranging in size from startups to corporations like Raytheon. In the midst of this unprecedented growth, Moloney has successfully prioritized sustainable practices and climate change education, all while supporting leadership opportunities for women and closing the gender gap in STEM faculty.
Moloney is a “double River Hawk,” as she earned two degrees from UMass Lowell, a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in education. She also holds a master’s degree in social psychology from Goddard College. One of nine children, she was the first person in her family to attend college. Under her leadership, UMass Lowell established the River Hawk Scholars Academy, which has become a national model for its support of first-generation college students.
Moloney also is active in the Lowell community. She has served on many boards and has been recognized with numerous awards including Woman of the Year from Girls Inc. and by Strongwater Farm for making a difference every day. Her husband Edward is a local attorney and they have two adult daughters and four grandchildren.