Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, October 28, 2013    
Accolades have been accorded various members of our UMass Dartmouth community. Kudos to Prof. Howard Michel who has been elected President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers! Thank you to student leaders Josh Encarnacion and Meghan Curow for creating the app
What's Up UMassD that has enabled all of us to access information about campus events! Hats off to our Engineering Club students Rola Hassoun, Ben Mitsmenn, Jacqueline Buenrostro, and Kyle Costa, who were featured in a Standard Times article published on October 22, for their laudable work in the impoverished village of Valle Las Perlas in Panama to bring running water to the indigenous Ngobe tribe. I commend Prof. Sheila Macrine for her efforts in establishing the UMassD Alpha Eta Alpha Chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Teacher Education. Kudos as well to the 60 students who were inducted at this historic inaugural event, and to the leadership of Dean Jen Riley. Congratulations to our alumnus Darren Doane, Principal of Dartmouth Middle School, who was named the Massachusetts Middle School Principal of the Year! 


Every year, all UMass System Chancellors are expected to present our respective short-range plans to our Board of Trustees. I did so last week, and share with you here UMass Dartmouth: Envision the Future, just click here. Please note that this plan will be in place until our UMassDTransform2020 Committee finalizes our strategic plan for 2014-2020 in April next year. If you have any feedback about the short-range plan, would you let me know?


It was a pleasure to co-host last week with our alumnus Representative Antonio Cabral a luncheon at the UMass Club honoring Duarte Freitas, Regional President of the Social Democratic Party of the Azores. We were joined by other members of the Portuguese-American Legislative Caucus including Senator Michael Rodrigues, Rep. Alan Silvia, and Rep. Vinny de Macedo, as well as Prof. Victor Mendes and PhD student Nelia Alves of the Department of Portuguese Studies, and Prof. Joao Paraskeva of the Center for Portuguese Studies.    


On October 22, I moderated a panel at the Summit on the Cost in Higher Education organized by the New England Board of Higher Education and the Davis Educational Foundation.My panel discussed how to break the current financial model of public higher education that is no longer sustainable because of the decline in public funding; the inability of students and families to incur the increasing burden of student debt; rising expectations for quality, efficiency and accountability from the public; and technological disruption from online, MOOCs, and other modalities. In the next few months, we will have to examine the cost of a UMassD college education and attempt to devise a financial model that is more sustainable. It is important to recognize that in the near future, the federal government will expect us to publicly declare our retention and graduation rates, costs, student debt burden, employment rate, and job earnings of graduates, and we should expect that federal financial aid will be based on our performance on these measures.


It was exhilarating to witness several of our corporate CEO and entrepreneur alumni who visited our campus last Friday to interact with Business and Engineering students in a mentorship forum and to speak in an Entrepreneurship Panel. If you were there, please thank John Galiher, CEO of Preferred Freezer; Diane Souza, CEO of United Health Specialty Benefits; Tom Lambalot, immediate past CEO of Smart Link Radio Networks; Ed Olkkola, Managing Director of Teakwood Capital; John Berg, CEO of Carpe Diem Technologies; and Bill Brum, Section Head for Engineering at Procter & Gamble. The success of this event is a tribute to Lara Stone and Joyce Antine for their unwavering focus in cultivating our alumni leaders and linking them with our students. 


I want to extend a thank you to Cynthia Cummings, Chris Laib, Marjorie Fernandes, and the more than 75 staff and student helpers for organizing and running the Fall Family Weekend event that I mentioned in my last Monday Message. Cynthia and her staff planned a fabulous day for the 2,000 people who attended, and this program has grown from 300 people four years ago to 2,000 today.

Have a glorious fall week, everyone!


Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth