By Daniel J. Fitzgibbons
Marcellette G. Williams, who served as interim chancellor in 2001-02, has been named senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and International Relations by President Jack M. Wilson.
“With her international profile and her extensive experience at two major research universities, Marcie Williams brings to this position a high regard for scholarship, an instinct for collaboration and innovation and an abiding concern for students,” said Wilson.
In her new post, Williams will serve as the chief academic, student and international relations officer for the five-campus, 58,000-student UMass system.
Williams, who came to UMass Amherst from Michigan State University in 1994 to serve as deputy chancellor, has a longstanding interest in international education and has taught or been involved in programs in Asia, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Slovak Republic, Russian Federation and South Africa.
After her term as interim chancellor, Williams was granted a year-long sabbatical. Then-President William M. Bulger appointed Williams to the new post of senior vice president for International Relations and asked her to conduct a study of international students and related within the UMass system.
Williams, who also held faculty appointments in the departments of English and Comparative Literature, retired last January. She also retired from her faculty post at Michigan State, where she has been working as a consultant to the provost.
Williams will assume her new duties on a full-time basis in July. In the interim, she will make periodic visits as she concludes current responsibilities at Michigan State University, where she has been working on a report on the future of liberal arts and sciences and leading an effort to establish a new residential college at the East Lansing campus. Williams said her final commitment to MSU is to teach in a six-week study abroad program in South Africa from mid-May to July.
“I very much look forward to returning to the University of Massachusetts – an institution that has a visceral and unshakable commitment of service to the Commonwealth,” Williams said. “I am gratified that President Wilson has called upon me, and I look forward to working with the president, the chancellors, the students, the faculty and all the other members of the UMass community in an ongoing effort to provide our citizens with a public university system of unsurpassed excellence.”
Williams added, “UMass was, as you know, cited as one of the best 50 research universities in the world by the London Times. If we are to continue to be taken seriously,
I think we have to demonstrate the import and the impact of a global perspective on research, on faculty exchanges, on student exchanges, and in aspects of the curriculum.”