UMass Lowell officially joined the UMass system in 1991. Julie Chen currently serves as chancellor, preceded by Jacquie Moloney, Marty Meehan and William Hogan. 

UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney

Jacqueline F. Moloney (2015-2022)

Jacquie Moloney led UMass Lowell through record gains in student enrollment and preparedness, research, diversity, fundraising and sustainability. Appointed by a unanimous vote of the UMass Board of Trustees in 2015, she was the first woman to lead the university.

Moloney oversaw completion of the 2020 strategic plan, as well as the creation of the Pillars of Excellence and the Pillars of Inclusive Excellence. During her administration, UMass Lowell earned recognition as the most sustainable campus in the state and forged hundreds of partnerships with companies ranging from startups to major corporations including Raytheon. 

Moloney guided the university during the greatest institutional challenge in its history – the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before her appointment, Moloney held a number of positions at UMass Lowell including professor, researcher, dean and executive vice chancellor. She was a pioneer in web-based learning and creating entrepreneurial opportunities on campus. Her legacy includes DifferenceMaker, the student competition that has become a national model for entrepreneurial programming. 

In her career Moloney supported leadership opportunities for women; worked to close the gender gap in STEM; and built the River Hawk Scholars Academy into a national model for support of first-generation college students.

The first in her family to attend college, Moloney is a “double River Hawk,” with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in education from UMass Lowell. She also holds a master’s degree in social psychology from Goddard College. At the end of the 2021-22 academic year, Moloney returned to the faculty as chancellor emerita.

Marty Meehan

Martin T. Meehan (2007-2015)

During his chancellorship, Marty Meehan, the first alumnus to be named to the position, propelled UMass Lowell forward by every important measure of higher education. The institution achieved record growth in enrollment, student retention and funding for research and scholarships. And the campus underwent a stunning physical transformation with new academic buildings and residence halls, upgraded academic and research facilities, and enhanced student activity spaces.  

Prior to his appointment, Meehan represented the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007, where he served on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees. Widely respected as a reformer, he established a national reputation for his legislative leadership in transforming campaign finance laws and protecting the public from the health risks of tobacco use. Previously, he served as Massachusetts deputy secretary of state for securities and corporations and he was the first assistant district attorney of Middlesex County. 

Meehan graduated cum laude from UMass Lowell in 1978 with a degree in education and political science. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University in 1981 and a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1986. He holds honorary degrees from Suffolk University, Green Mountain College in Vermont and Shenkar College of Engineering & Design in Israel.

Chancellor Meehan was named President of the UMass system on May 1, 2015. He assumed his post on July 1, 2015.

William T. Hogan

William T. Hogan (1991-2006)

After working as an engineer at General Electric and the U.S. Army, William Hogan joined the campus as a professor of mechanical engineering in 1963. He quickly moved up the ranks, becoming dean of the College of Engineering, vice president of academic affairs and, eventually, president of the University of Lowell. He became UMass Lowell's first chancellor in 1991.

Under Hogan’s leadership, enrollment at the university increased, accreditation soared and the colleges of Liberal Arts and Pure and Applied Sciences joined to form the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Dedicated to a vision of a sustainable regional economy, Hogan helped launch several initiatives in cooperation with the city, including the Riverwalk, LeLacheur Park, the Tsongas Arena, the Lowell Summer Music Series and the expansion of the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Under his watch, the university also initiated a host of research and economic partnerships, including the Center for Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property and the Toxics Use Reduction Institute. 

Shortly before retiring in 2006, Hogan helped develop a plan for a $266 million renovation of the university’s three campuses, taking the first steps toward establishing UMass Lowell as a world-class research and development center.

Chancellor Hogan graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in mechanical engineering and earned a doctorate in engineering at MIT.  He died in 2017 at the age of 84.