Michael Gargano Named Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life at UMass Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor John V. Lombardi today announced the appointment of Michael Gargano Jr., as vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life. Gargano is currently associate vice president, student and academic support services, at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"Our search committee recruited a number of very high-quality candidates for the University to consider," said Lombardi. "While any one of them would have been a superb addition to our campus, Mike Gargano appeared to be the best match of experience, ability, and vision for the continued development of our outstanding Student Affairs Office."

Lombardi continued: "Campus life is critical to the academic success of our students, and Mike Gargano will provide the commitment and leadership for the next stage in the continuing development of the programs and activities that define quality student affairs at a major public research university."

The vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life oversees a number of student-related and other services for the campus community. These are: enrollment services, which includes admissions, financial aid, and a range of student support services; the office of the dean of students, who oversees campus activities, judicial matters, the Everywoman''s Center, the Jewish Affairs Office, and the Stonewall Center; housing services; public safety; University Health Services; and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program.

"I''m excited to be joining one of the great nationally recognized institutions of higher learning, and am looking forward to working with Chancellor Lombardi," Gargano said. "The opportunity to work and be associated with an outstanding student body, world-class faculty, and a first-rate professional staff is very appealing."

Gargano has held several positions at George Washington during his 13-year tenure at that institution. Named to his current position in 2001, he was responsible for the management and oversight of key facets of the university''s services for undergraduate education. Those include admissions, financial aid, campus life, athletics, public safety, student health, counseling services, housing, international student services, multicultural and disability services, the career center, alumni relations, dean of students, parent services, and the University Club.

Also within student and academic support services at George Washington, Gargano was assistant vice president (1998-01); executive director, student activities center (1997-98); and special assistant to the vice president and executive director of summer orientation (1993-97). From 1988-93, he was assistant athletic director, external affairs. Prior to joining George Washington, he also worked in athletics advancement at the University of Rhode Island and the University of Hartford.

Gargano replaces Jo-Anne Vanin, who has been interim vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life since July 2002. She chose not to be a candidate for the permanent position and plans to return to her former post as associate vice chancellor and dean of students.

"The University is particularly grateful for the exceptional leadership of Vice Chancellor Jo-Anne Vanin, whose work with our students has improved so many aspects of student affairs during her time as vice chancellor as well as during her many years of service in other roles," said Lombardi. "The campus is fortunate that she will continue in a leadership role within student affairs."

Gargano will assume his new responsibilities at UMass Amherst on or about July 1, according to Lombardi.

Search committee chair Cleve Willis, dean of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, said, "Michael Gargano''s acceptance of this position is huge. He captured the imagination of the search committee and the students with whom he met. I am delighted that we have attracted an individual of his extraordinary caliber."

Gargano received an Ed.D. and a master''s equivalency in higher education from George Washington University in 2001. He earned his bachelor''s degree in marketing from the University of Hartford in 1978.