Hits Ground Running with #First90 Campus Engagement Tours
By Ed Brennen
To thank deans and department chairs for their hard work, celebrate the accomplishments of their faculty and staff, and engage the university community in achieving the strategic plan, Jacquie Moloney is kicking off her first 90 days as chancellor with a series of “#First90” campus engagement tours.
And if the first tour is any indication, it’s going to take a lot of energy to keep up with Moloney’s ambitious pace.
Alongside Provost Don Pierson and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Joanne Yestramski, Moloney spent more than four hours visiting dozens of offices, classrooms and labs across campus — from Olsen and Southwick halls on North to Durgin and Dugan halls on South, culminating in the new wing of Riverview Suites.
At each stop, Moloney presented a certificate recognizing the department’s outstanding leadership and service, along with a “spirit” basket stuffed with River Hawks tickets and other gifts for staff members.
“It’s so inspiring to tour the campus and see the great work that our faculty are doing,” Moloney said after her final stop of the day — the new Health Assessment Lab at Riverview Suites. “It’s so helpful to meet with people face-to-face and hear their hopes for the campus.
“We have a lot of very dedicated faculty and staff, and it’s important for us to have the chance to express our appreciation to them for everything that they’ve done.”
In addition to the engagement tours, which will run through Thanksgiving recess, Moloney is instituting a micro grant program to spur advances toward the university’s strategic goals as she leads the university into phase two of its 10-year strategic plan, UMass Lowell 2020.
Moloney will award Chancellor’s 2020 Challenge Grants, 20 micro grants of up to $1,000 each, to faculty, students, staff, alumni and community members seeking funding for projects that advance the goals outlined in the plan. A committee, chaired by UMass President Emeritus Jack Wilson and Economics Prof. Carol McDonough and comprised of representatives from each of the eligible groups, will make awards in three rounds this fall. Participants can apply on the challenge grant website.
“We are in the midst of an exciting transformation and have set ambitious goals in our strategic plan,” Moloney said. “Our success continues to result from effective collaboration between our dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni.”
After touring biology and computer science labs at Olsen (and getting an impromptu robotics demonstration from a pair of surprised students), the contingent headed to Southwick to visit UTeach’s renovated facility.
From there it was on to Moloney’s old stomping grounds, the Division of Online and Continuing Education, where she served as dean for 13 years. Moloney congratulated the staff on its recent round of national awards before getting a brief overview of the North Quad pod project from Jean Robinson, director of capital projects.
On South Campus, Moloney discussed planned upgrades to Durgin Concert Hall and toured the recently completed Honors Commons and Writing Center on the third floor of O’Leary Library. In Dugan, Moloney reviewed plans for the new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with founding dean Mehdi Boroujerdi.
The campus community is encouraged to follow and engage in #First90 activities on the university’s official social media accounts and Chancellor Moloney’s Facebook page.