David K. Scott was Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1993-2001.
This is an archive of the Chancellor's Web site during his tenure.
David K. Scott was born on the northernmost of the Orkney Islands off the Coast of Scotland (same latitude as the upper Hudson Bay) - a small island 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, with a population of 100 people and approximately 30 farms, or crofts. This setting exposed him at an early age to the forces of nature through displays of the aurora borealis on winter nights and spectacular storms at sea which sometimes swept waves across the island, and led him on the path to becoming a physicist. He had to leave his home, parents and family at age 10 years to attend a boarding school - a harsh necessity at that time (1950) if a child from the Orkney Islands wanted to go on to attend a university. Sacrifices, both emotional and financial, were necessary to ensure a better education for the next generation. This commitment of his parents and of the island community has remained a shaping force in Scott's own commitment to education and to the democratization of privilege.
After completing his undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Edinburgh, Scott then went on to Oxford University in England to do research in Nuclear Physics, completing the Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1967 as a member of Linacre College. For several years thereafter, Scott was a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University, but then decided to spend some time at the University of California at Berkeley, where he stayed for 7 years (1972-1979) conducting pioneering research on the high speed collisions of heavy nuclei to study extreme states in nuclear systems, such as the temperature and pressure in the Big Bang theory of the universe. In 1978 he was appointed Scientific Director of the Cyclotron Laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, but was attracted to Michigan State University (MSU) in 1979 as the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy and of Chemistry. MSU provided a special attraction through the construction of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the foremost laboratory in the world for research in collisions of nuclei.
In 1982 Scott served as the Director for Research at the Cyclotron Laboratory, and thereby was led back once again into academic administration, becoming Associate Provost in 1983 and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1986. As Provost, Scott felt he drew on his early experiences in his island birthplace where he developed an interest in all areas of knowledge as well as the interrelationships between them. He also felt he could advance the "democratization of privilege" that had enabled him as a child from a 20-acre croft in the Orkney Islands to gain access to great institutions of learning like Edinburgh, Oxford, Berkeley, Michigan State University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Scott left the position of Provost at MSU in September 1992, following a six-year tenure, to become the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of Learning, Science and Society at MSU.
In July 1993, Scott became Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he hopes to lead the institution to become an Integrative University for an age of knowledge, as well as a Learning Organization of the 21st century.
Scott is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is well known nationally and internationally for his work in nuclear collisions and higher education. He has written more than 100 papers on topics in Nuclear Science and Higher Education and delivered over 200 lectures in countries around the world. He is listed in compilations such as Who's Who in the World, and American Men and Women of Science. He serves on several Boards, including the Board of Overseers for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Chicago Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory, plus regional boards such as Mass Ventures and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. He serves on several national educational organizations including: Chairperson of the American Council of Education Commission on International Education and Chairperson of the Leadership Council of AAHE on Faculty Roles and Rewards. He provides support to various Community Service Projects, including the Higher Education Division of United Way, and the United Way Campaign for Hampshire County.