Catching up on changes around campus

By Daniel J. Fitzgibbons

The past year brought a number of changes to campus, including departmental mergers, reorganizations and new appointments.

While the campus’s top leadership remains the same as a year ago, Charlena Seymour received a permanent appointment in May as senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and provost. She had held an interim appointment since 2001.

Elsewhere on the academic side, Sharon Fross is the new vice provost for Outreach and Continuing Education. Her area includes UMass Extension, University Without Walls, radio station WFCR, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Institute, along with the Division of Continuing Education.

John Mullin, who was vice chancellor for Outreach, is now the dean of the Graduate School.

At UMass Extension, Robert Schrader is the new interim director. He replaced Steve Demski, who accepted a job in North Carolina. Soon after his appointment, Schrader tapped longtime 4-H leader Sherrie Guyott to be statewide director of the century-old youth program.

At the College of Engineering, Chemical Engineering professor Michael Malone succeeded Joseph Goldstein as dean. Goldstein returned to teaching after 11 years at the helm of the college.

Within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, several language-related departments were consolidated into a new Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, which is chaired by Robert Schwartzwald. The new unit is made up of the former departments of Asian Languages and Literatures, Comparative Literature, French and Italian, Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Another CHFA unit, the Journalism Department, was absorbed by the Communication Department in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Michael Morgan, just back from a sabbatical, is the chair of Communication.

Within the College of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Entomology Department and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences are now the Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, headed Peter Veneman.

Three departments in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences — Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Community Health Studies, and Environmental Health Sciences —were merged into a new Department of Public Health, chaired by Philip Nasca.

Vice Provost for Research Paul Kostecki remains in Whitmore, but the offices under him moved lock, stock and barrel to new quarters in the former Career Center building. The relocated offices are Research Affairs, the Office of Grant and Contract Administration (OGCA), Animal Care, Research Compliance, Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP), and Industrial Liaison and Economic Development (ILED).

The Sport Management Department also pulled up stakes, moving from Skinner Hall to the second floor of the Isenberg School of Management.

New digs were also in the cards for the UMass Press, which moved into the venerable East Experiment Station in June after 30 years in a house on East Pleasant St.

On the administrative side, Donald Futrell has settled in as the new associate vice chancellor for Facilities and Campus Services. David Murphy is the new director of the Budget Office.

Also in Whitmore, Richard Conner is the executive director of the Office of Public Affairs, comprised of State Government Relations, Advocacy Programs, Community Relations, News and Information and the newly renamed Office of Commencements and Community Campaign, which oversees graduation planning and coordinates the campus’s annual charitable appeal.