Robert Feldman Appointed Deputy Chancellor at UMass Amherst

Robert Feldman

AMHERST, Mass. – Robert S. Feldman has been appointed deputy chancellor by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Subbaswamy said the primary responsibility of Feldman, currently dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will be to coordinate and facilitate campus-wide quality enhancement efforts, which require collaboration across campus areas such as Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Administration and Finance. In this capacity, the deputy chancellor will oversee implementation of campus-level initiatives arising from the strategic plan. Feldman will also oversee administration of the Chancellor’s Office, including portfolios such as the Ombuds Office and Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

“Bob Feldman brings to this position a wealth of skills and experience as an administrator, a nationally recognized researcher and an acclaimed teacher who has a deep knowledge of our campus,” Subbaswamy said. “His insight and ability to lead a team will be extremely valuable as we continue to strengthen our university and demonstrate its importance as the Commonwealth’s flagship campus.”

Feldman said, “I look forward to working closely with Chancellor Subbaswamy as he pursues further excellence and distinction for UMass Amherst. This is an extraordinary community, and I welcome this opportunity to make a new contribution in this leadership role.”

Feldman, a professor of psychology, has served as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science since 2012, having been interim dean since 2009. Among his accomplishments were strengthening the undergraduate experience by increasing support for internships and study abroad, supporting the faculty through mentorship and innovative teaching programs, creating the Institute for Social Science Research and launching a computational social science initiative.

He is a recipient of the College Distinguished Teacher Award, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, winner of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer Award, and recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Wesleyan University.

He is also president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences Foundation, which advocates for the social sciences. His research interests include deception and honesty in everyday life, work that he described in The Liar in Your Life, a trade book published in 2009. His research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research.

Feldman is the author of Understanding Psychology, now in its 12th edition and published by McGraw-Hill, several books targeted to first-year college students, and several college-level textbooks. His books have been translated into multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Chinese and Japanese, and they have been used by more than 2 million students. He also serves on the board of New England Public Radio. 

Feldman received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, graduating with high honors, and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The position of deputy chancellor has remained vacant since 2010. Feldman’s appointment comes after the recent announcement of the pending retirement of John Dubach, longtime special assistant to the chancellor. Subbaswamy said he anticipates making additional changes in the organization of campus administration after appropriate consultation.