UMass Amherst Announces Three Interim Appointments to Leadership Positions

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts has announced three interim personnel appointments. Charlena Seymour, Dean of the Graduate School, has been named Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost. She will serve in an acting position from May 28 to July 1, then in an interim position. Chancellor David K. Scott and Deputy Chancellor Marcellette G. Williams made the announcement.

Williams, who will become Interim Chancellor July 1, also announced that John Dubach, Associate Chancellor for Information Technologies/Chief Information Officer, has been named Interim Deputy Chancellor, effective July 1. And, Rosio Alvarez, currently an assistant professor of Management Science and Information Systems at UMass Boston and formerly a consultant on management information systems in the Chancellor''s Office at UMass Amherst, has been named Interim Associate Chancellor for Information Technologies and Planning,also effective on July 1.

Williams said: "This is a time of major transition on campus. Many significant changes have occurred since last November when Chancellor Scott announced he would be leaving at the end of June. I believe it is essential that we proceed to make appointments that will continue to advance the excellence of the University. I also believe it is best to make the appointments as expeditiously as possible."

She characterized Seymour, Dubach, and Alvarez as "institutional citizens in perspective who are committed to advancing the University cooperatively." She said that in making the appointments she had taken into account input she has received over the years from a wide variety of campus groups, including the Student Government Association, the Graduate Student Senate, the Rules and Executive Committees of the Faculty Senate, the Union leadership, the Deans'' Council, the Chancellor''s Executive Advisory Council, and the groups reporting to the Deputy Chancellor and Chancellor.

"I am pleased to announce these appointments," Williams said. "I hope the University community will join me in welcoming each to new positions of critical responsibilities and commit with me to working cooperatively and collaboratively to advance the many excellences that comprise UMass Amherst."

A professor in the Department of Communication Disorders, Seymour is completing her seventh year as Graduate Dean. She also was Graduate Program director for three years and chaired the department of Communication Disorders for eight years.

As Dean, Seymour oversaw a number of new projects, including a Graduate Student Handbook, the Graduate Student Travel Program, Graduate Student Opinion Surveys, the Graduate Student Recognition Luncheon, a graduate student ALANA advisory board, the Graduate School Student Internship program, and the revision of the Guidelines for Submitting Theses and Dissertations.

Also as Dean, she was a co-principal investigator for a $2.5 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented graduate students in science, mathematics, and engineering. She has been elected as the President of the Northeast Association of Graduate Schools for 2003, and is currently the national chair of the Advisory Committee on Minorities in Graduate Education for the Council of Graduate Schools.

She has given more than 150 invited presentations and keynote addresses around the world on her research areas of stuttering, learning disabilities, professional ethics, and language behavior in African American children. She was president of the American Speech Language Hearing Association in 1997, following a term as the vice president for Quality of Service. She is one of only two people of color who have served as president in the 75 years of the association''s existence. A graduate of Howard University, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Communication at Howard University. She also received a medal of recognition for intercultural and race relations from the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University. She has been the delegation leader for three People to People Ambassador delegations, one each to South Africa, China, and Australia. This summer, she will attend the Management and Leadership in Education Program offered at Harvard University.

Dubach joined the University in 1980 as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Physics. He later was promoted to associate professor and then professor. He served as executive director of University Computing Services from 1989-93, and head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1993-96. He was named Associate Chancellor for the Office of Information Technologies (OIT) in October 1996. In March 1998, he was given the additional responsibilities of Chief Information Officer. He holds a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Santa Clara and a master''s and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in physics.

Alvarez holds three degrees from UMass Amherst, a bachelor''s degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in Organization Theory. She has held a number of positions on campus, starting in 1988 as a system and network analyst. From 1990-92, she was manager of financial information systems, and from 1992-98, she was a management information systems consultant, serving as an assistant to the Chancellor on management and technology projects. Her responsibilities included managing the restructuring of administrative services and managing a campus-wide information system requirements'' analysis, selection, and implementation. She also was a member of the PeopleSoft software implementation team involved in defining requirements, selecting software, design, and installation.