Chancellor's Monday Message
Monday, July 21, 2014    
While in Boston for the Chancellors Retreat this past week, I watched a joyful summer scene: children gleefully splashing in the Rings Fountain at the Wharf District Park in the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Can you imagine anything more refreshing than a fountain frolic on an oppressively hot and humid day? Interesting how the mind connects images; I thought about that legendary Martin Munkacsi photograph Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika (click here) that inspired Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French photographer widely known as the father of photojournalism. Cartier-Bresson remarked "... it is that very photograph which was for me the spark that set fire to fireworks. I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment... This picture has such intensity, such joie de vivre, such a sense of wonder that it continues to fascinate me to this day."


Congratulations to Professor Amit Tandon and his research partner, Dr. Amala Mahadevan of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for a groundbreaking international collaboration titled "Air-Sea Interaction Regional Initiatives - Bay of Bengal" or ASIRI! Together with Professor Sanjiv Ramachandran and other scientists from more than 20 universities and research institutes in U.S. and India, the research team will focus on ocean processes in the Bay of Bengal and their relationship with the annual monsoon. Monsoons and extreme weather events impose an enormous toll in India and the subcontinent, as illustrated by the massive Cyclone 05B in 1999 that led to 10,000 deaths and approximately $4.5 billion in economic damage. The federal Office of Naval Research will fund the work of Professor Tandon and participating U.S. scientists through ASIRI, while India's Monsoon Mission, supported by their Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi, will fund the corresponding "Ocean Mixing and Monsoons" Initiative.


This past Thursday and Friday, we held our Cabinet retreat at the ATMC and devoted concentrated time to begin developing action plans to implement UMassDTransform2020. We listened to key presentations on high-impact and innovative research and academic programs, student-centered undergraduate and graduate academic experiences, enrollment management, budget plan, and facilities master plan. With the guidance of former Leadership SouthCoast Director Mike Metzler, we engaged in discussions about the leadership traits and organizational structure needed for individuals and groups to execute our campus strategic plan. Thank you to Natasha Falke, Amy Mangold, and Carol Taylor in my office and to Joanne Costa and the ATMC team for their able preparation and support to make the retreat a success.


Hats off to the UMassD rugby team for emerging as the Bowl Division men's champion in the New England 10's rugby tournament! Kudos to head coach Jonathan Paull, president Jacob Hibbert, captains James Robinson and Andrew Haggerty and the entire team.


The UMassD Alumni Association led by President Jennifer Granger and Vice President Steve Martins needs our assistance in identifying candidates for Alumni Awards. Will you recommend deserving and accomplished alumni for these honors? The deadline for submission of nominations is August 1, 2014.


Enjoy the magnificent but fleeting summer days!

Chancellor's Signature
UMass Dartmouth