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Meehan: UMass reorg will help market schools

By From the Lowell Sun

By Hillary Chabot
Lowell Sun

BOSTON -- A major reorganization within the University of Massachusetts system would bring brand-name recognition to UMass Lowell, said soon-to-be Chancellor Martin Meehan.

Under a reorganization plan to be unveiled tomorrow, UMass President Jack Wilson would work out of UMass Amherst several days a week in an effort to link the campuses via technology and marketing. UMass Amherst Chancellor John Lombardi will stay on through the spring of 2008, when he will step down and work as a professor.

UMass Boston Chancellor Michael Collins would become the interim chancellor at the UMass Medical School and senior health and sciences.

J. Keith Motley, the system's vice president for business, would replace Collins, making him the first black chancellor of the Boston campus. The new chancellors will start on June 1, and Meehan will start at UMass Lowell on July 1.

"Jack is really looking at this as an exciting time, and he really sees the new chancellors as a leadership team," said UMass spokesman Bob Connolly. "This would closely align the UMass system president's office and the five campuses, especially as he will be working out of the flagship campus."

The staff changes wouldn't effect UMass Lowell, said Meehan, but the new system would allow the schools to form a more cohesive management team and market the UMass name better.

"I think it will make coordination of the branding and coordination of the campuses easier," Meehan said. "Wilson will be in a better position to implement branding and uniform (information technology) systems, and it's consistent with the goals and objectives of the university."

References to UMass Lowell throughout the campus are in different colors and letter shapes, something Meehan wants to change.

"If you look at the Dunkin' Donuts sign in Japanese at Fenway, you still know it's Dunkin' Donuts because of the lettering," he said. "Universities need to use branding like that effectively."

Meehan added that he is pleased about the promotions of both Collins and Motley.

"I think Michael Collins is a good fit for the medical school, and Keith Motley, I've gotten to know him and he knows the Boston campus very well," Meehan said. "I think the moves are very positive, and I'm looking forward to being part of the organization in July."