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Final year for UMass Dartmouth chancellor

System must now find 2 new leaders

Jean MacCormack, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, announced yesterday she will retire at the end of the academic year.

The UMass system must now replace two of its five campus leaders. This month, it will start looking for a replacement for Robert Holub, chancellor of the flagship campus in Amherst. The system’s president, Bob Caret, has been in office for only two months.

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MacCormack has led UMass Dartmouth since 1999. Under her administration, enrollment grew from 6,900 to 9,400, and students living on campus nearly doubled, to 4,500. Research funding increased from $7 million to $26 million.

Previously, MacCormack was a longtime administrator at UMass Boston. “I’ve got 25 years of this senior leadership stuff under my belt,’’ she said. “I still hope to contribute in the future, but with a little less intensity.’’

MacCormack said she might teach part time after leaving her post, but looks forward to handing leadership on controversial issues - including her signature campaign of the last few years, the development of the state’s first public law school - to her replacement. “When there’s a new chancellor, you want to give them some room,’’ she said. “I’m hoping we can recruit someone who has been at a college with a law school. I think I’ll be able to pass that baton.’’

The University of Massachusetts School of Law will be considered for accreditation by the American Bar Association this year.

MacCormack also announced yesterday that UMass Dartmouth’s provost, Anthony Garro, will leave the school in January.

The search for replacements will play out over the next year. It is likely to begin within the month, when UMass leaders visit the campus to assess its needs. A new chancellor should be appointed in the spring, MacCormack said. Until then, MacCormack will still be in charge. “I expect to be working up until my last day,’’ she said.

Mary Carmichael can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mary_carmichael.
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