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UMass Lowell Names Falcón New Dean

Experienced Educator to Lead College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

UMass Lowell Dean of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Luis M. Falcon
Luis M. Falcón


Media contacts: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or 
Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell announced today it has named Luis M. Falcón as the new dean of the university’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Falcón, who will join UMass Lowell next month, is a professor of sociology at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also serves as one of the principal investigators at the National Institutes of Health-funded Center on Population Health and Health Disparities. He was selected as the next leader of UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences through a national search overseen by a 16-member committee representing university administrators, deans, faculty and staff. 

A faculty member at Northeastern since 1989, Falcón served as vice provost for graduate education from 2004 to 2011. In that role, he oversaw more than 125 graduate programs in seven colleges, developed new programs, managed more than $18 million in financial aid and chaired the university’s graduate council. His extensive career in higher education also includes serving as vice provost for faculty, associate dean for faculty, director of Northeastern’s College of Arts and Sciences graduate school and as chairman and graduate studies director of its Department of Sociology and Anthropology. 

“Dr. Falcón will bring impressive experience in leading faculty, staff and students to UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. We are looking forward to the contributions he will make as UMass Lowell continues to grow the scope of the high-quality academics it offers in those fields,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. 

“I am delighted and honored to have the opportunity to serve as dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at UMass Lowell. In the time that I have spent on campus, I have come to appreciate the energy and commitment of the faculty and administrators to the success of the college and the university,” said Falcón. “I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the college and to working with Chancellor Meehan, Provost Abdelal, other university leaders and faculty in advancing the university’s mission and strategic goals.”

Falcón holds a bachelor of arts in sociology and a master of science in social work from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. He earned his doctorate in sociology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and has served as an evaluator and review panelist for organizations including the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Council of Graduate Schools, the Social Science Research Council and the National Institute of Aging. He has secured, individually and with other faculty, research grants totaling more than $15 million and his research has been published in many academic journals.

UMass Lowell’s College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences consists of 11 academic departments that offer a broad range of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. Five research centers are operated through the college: the Center for Arts and Ideas; the Center for Family, Work and Community; the Center for Industrial Competitiveness; the Center for Women and Work; and the Kerouac Center for Public Humanities. 

Falcón will succeed Nina Coppens, who is stepping down after serving as dean since 2009. A scholarship fund has been established to honor her many contributions to UMass Lowell and the fields of developmental and health psychology. Prior to being named dean, Coppens was a faculty member for many years in both the Nursing and Psychology departments, served as chairwoman of the Department of Psychology, and received honors including the Teaching Excellence Award. 

“UMass Lowell would like to thank Dr. Coppens for her many years of outstanding leadership at the university, particularly over the last three as Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences made the transition from a division to its own college,” said Meehan. 

UMass Lowell is a comprehensive, national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 15,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, engineering, education, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, liberal arts, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.