John J. McCarthy Appointed Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UMass Amherst

John J. McCarthy
John J. McCarthy

AMHERST, Mass. – John J. McCarthy has been appointed provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. The appointment is effective July 1.

A longtime faculty member and administrator, McCarthy was appointed acting provost last July when then-provost Katherine Newman began transitioning to a new role as senior vice president at the UMass system office. McCarthy became interim provost on Jan. 1.

“During the past year John has impressed all stakeholders with his consultative approach and ability to balance competing interests. He is a tireless worker wholly dedicated to the success of this institution,” said Subbaswamy.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work I started as interim provost,” says McCarthy. “It has been a real pleasure working with the chancellor, the vice chancellors and associate chancellors, the deans and the faculty and staff to advance this campus toward our top-20 goal. The support I have received in my role has been extraordinary.”

McCarthy was appointed senior vice provost in 2015, a role he held concurrently while serving as dean of the Graduate School from 2012-15. He also served as vice provost for graduate education from 2012-15, special assistant to the provost from 2011-12, and chair of the linguistics department from 2009-11 and 1993-96.

In 2017, Subbaswamy appointed McCarthy to head a campus task force to coordinate responses to presidential executive orders and changes in federal policies that affect students and other members of the campus community.

Prior to joining the administration, McCarthy served in the Faculty Senate and chaired the Rules Committee, Budget Planning Task Force, Program and Budget Council and the General Education Council. He also co-chaired the Joint Task Force on Curriculum, Credits and Costs.

In 1985, McCarthy joined the linguistics department, where he specializes in the fields of phonology and morphology, the study of the structure of sounds and words in human language. He was appointed a distinguished professor in 2005.

He is a recipient of several of the campus’s top honors including the Chancellor’s Medal, the Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity and the Distinguished Teaching Award.

McCarthy is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Linguistic Society of America, Massachusetts Academy of Sciences and the Cognitive Science Society. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1992.

He received his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his A.B. at Harvard University.