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UMass Lowell’s Jacquie Moloney to Step Down as Chancellor in 2022

Leaves legacy of transformation across enrollment, research, philanthropy and diversity

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney Photo by Richard Pasley
UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney

07/14/2021

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney today announced she will step down as chancellor at the end of the upcoming academic year in June 2022.

“I am grateful to have had the honor and privilege of serving as chancellor for the past six years and for eight years previously as executive vice chancellor. I will always treasure our time together and the many accomplishments we achieved during my 37-year tenure at UMass Lowell. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to advance our university as one of the top public institutions in the country,” Moloney wrote in a letter to the campus community.

Moloney, who in August 2015 was unanimously appointed as the first woman to lead UMass Lowell, has overseen a campus-wide transformation launched in 2007 when she was named executive vice chancellor by then-chancellor Marty Meehan.

Since the 2010 creation of its 2020 Strategic Plan, 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.

“I am proud of the remarkable transformation of the university captured in the recently published 2020 Strategic Plan Final Report. We can all take great pride in meeting and, in many cases, exceeding the ambitious benchmarks we set for ourselves,” Moloney wrote. “I look forward to rejoining the faculty a year from now and continuing to work by your side to create opportunities for our students and the community around us.”

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, 19 new buildings have been added or substantially renovated on campus, increasing the campus’ square footage by nearly 60%. The investments brought new life to the university with the addition of River Hawk Village and Aiken Field on East Campus and the renewal of the iconic Coburn Hall on South Campus.

An alumnus and congressman before becoming UMass Lowell’s chancellor from 2007 to 2015, Meehan, now president of the UMass System, praised Moloney’s tenure.

“Chancellor Moloney’s nearly four decades of service to UMass Lowell, culminating with her superb leadership as chancellor, have been distinguished by her constant drive to expand educational opportunity for people and economic prosperity for a region that she has always called home,” Meehan said. “She has been an inspiration and mentor to countless young people, especially women, who strive to make a difference in the world. Her leadership of UMass Lowell, especially throughout the pandemic, has driven the university to new heights of excellence. It is with great gratitude and respect that I thank her for her service.” 

UMass Board of Trustees Chairman Robert J. Manning, also a River Hawk alumnus who, with his wife and fellow graduate, Donna, has been a significant contributor to UMass Lowell’s business and nursing schools, echoed Meehan.

“As a trustee, but perhaps even more importantly as an alumnus of UMass Lowell who is ever grateful for the impact that the university has had on my life, I want to thank Chancellor Moloney for her service to the university. From professor to chancellor, and in the many other facets of her distinguished career, she has positively impacted the lives of thousands of people by focusing on student success, innovative research and community engagement,” Manning said.

Outgoing UMass Lowell Student Trustee Ryan Callahan ’21, applauded Moloney’s leadership and support of students. 

“Throughout her time at UMass Lowell, Chancellor Moloney has been a fearless advocate for students, regularly meeting with them and addressing their needs whenever possible,” Callahan said. “Her leadership was an inspiration to students across campus and we will all miss her experience, expertise and pragmatism in higher education that resulted in a better university.”

The UMass President’s Office plans to launch a national search for Chancellor Moloney’s successor in the fall.

Among the top 15 fastest-growing public, doctoral universities during the last decade, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education and ranked No. 80 among public universities by U.S. News and World Report, UMass Lowell has catapulted itself onto the national stage.

Long a proponent of integrating entrepreneurial lessons and opportunities throughout campus life, Moloney 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. 

Active in engaging industry to advance initiatives ranging from public-private research partnerships to co-op and internship opportunities for students, Moloney was in 2017 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 among the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe Magazine and the Commonwealth Institute.  Moloney also received the Ray Stata Award from the Massachusetts High Technology Council in 2019. 

Throughout her career, Moloney has prioritized sustainability practices and climate change education, all while supporting leadership opportunities for women and closing the gender gap in STEM faculty.

Integrated into its 2020 strategic plan, UMass Lowell has prioritized recruiting students and employees of color. Since 2010, student diversity has increased more than 87% and diversity among employees is up 127%. To accelerate these gains, in 2020 Moloney established the Council on Social Justice & Inclusion to develop and implement recommendations to strengthen equity and inclusion across campus and to fight gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

During nearly 40 years with UMass Lowell, Moloney has served in numerous roles, including as 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 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, Moloney — like 40 percent of new undergraduate students at UMass Lowell — 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 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 the 2020 Make a Difference Award from Strongwater Farm. Her husband, Edward, is a local attorney and they have two adult daughters and four grandchildren.

UMass Lowell is a national research university offering its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe. www.uml.edu