Robert L. Caret was elected the 26th President of the University of Massachusetts system on January 13, 2011. UMass was established in 1863 and consists of the flagship campus in Amherst, along with campuses in Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and a Medical School in Worcester.The University also has a satellite in Springfield and a School of Law in Dartmouth. UMass is currently ranked as the No. 1 public university in New England and is among the world’s top 100 universities, according to Times Higher Education World Rankings.
President Caret, a native New Englander, assumed the presidency of the University of Massachusetts after completing highly successful presidencies at San Jose State University and Towson University. President Caret presided over periods of significant growth at both universities and gained national acclaim for eliminating race-based graduation disparities at Towson.
From 2003 to 2011, President Caret was president of Towson University where he also served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his more than 25-year tenure. At Towson, President Caret created partnerships with regional business, non-profit and civic organizations, raised student graduation rates, and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign to support campus infrastructure improvements and the construction of numerous academic and student life facilities. Between 1995 and 2003, Dr. Caret served as president of San Jose State University, where he championed a joint city/university effort to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose.
As president of the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Caret is the system's chief executive officer and is charged with advancing its mission of education, research and public service to the Commonwealth. In this role, President Caret has established himself as a major spokesperson on the pressing issues of college affordability and student debt, calling for Massachusetts and states across the nation to rededicate themselves to their public universities and provide appropriate levels of funding. In Massachusetts, President Caret successfully pursued a 50-50 funding formula for UMass, with the state and students contributing equally to the University's general education program. His success in securing additional state funding from the Legislature has allowed UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.
President Caret has also emphasized efficiency and transparency, rolling out a number of cost-saving initiatives as part of his focus on both administrative and academic efficiencies. In addition, President Caret created a new accountability report, UMass Performance: Accountable and on the Move, that lays out the University's goals as they relate to six focal areas: Student Experience & Success; Producing an Educated Workforce and Engaged Citizenry; World Class Research & Development Enterprise; Enhancing the Social Well Being; Good Stewards of Resources; and Telling and Selling the UMass Story. Future reports rate the University's performance in those areas.