UMass Amherst Names Interim Dean of Commonwealth College, Begins Search Process

AMHERST, Mass. - Linda Nolan, director of the honors program at the University of Massachusetts since 1992, has been named interim dean of Commonwealth College, the new honors college located on the UMass Amherst campus. Nolan is a member of the faculty in environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

The announcement was made by Cora B. Marrett, vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost. Marrett said: "Linda Nolan has done an outstanding job as director of the honors program. She has significantly improved the quality of the program and has doubled the enrollment of honors students. She also established the Undergraduate Research Conference, which has grown from a campus event to an event which encompasses all of public higher education in the commonwealth."

Marrett also credited Nolan for playing a critical role "in working with Deputy Provost Norman Aitken to bring Commonwealth College to the Amherst campus and in obtaining funding support for the college from the state Board of Higher Education."

"Because of her commitment and strong effort to establish the honors program and now the college, we shall always think of her as the Founding Dean of Commonwealth College," Marrett said. Nolan will begin her new position June 1.

She is also eligible to be a candidate for the permanent dean’s position. Marrett said a national search will be conducted for the permanent dean’s position. Search committee members will be announced shortly, and Marrett said she hopes to make a permanent appointment by fall 2000.

Commonwealth College was opened as an administrative unit in the fall of 1998, and will admit its first students this coming fall. More than 500 entering freshmen honors students are expected to enroll in the college’s first class.