Biography of Chancellor Subbaswamy

Kumble SubbaswamyKumble R. Subbaswamy, PhD

Kumble R. Subbaswamy has led the university since July 2012. His pursuit of academic excellence; promotion of research and outreach; and initiatives aimed at addressing campus climate, diversity, and culture have positioned him as a highly regarded chancellor both within the campus community and nationally.

Championing an open and transparent leadership style, Subbaswamy successfully enacted a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning process, and under his leadership, the university continues to move up in the national rankings, making the flagship campus one of the fastest rising top-tier public research universities in the country.

Subbaswamy has also generated an unprecedented level of transformative financial investment and philanthropy for the university, enabling expanded recruitment of a world-class faculty, accelerated enrollment growth of a diverse student body, and enhanced facilities. New state-of-the-art campus resources include the Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community, the Integrative Learning Center, the Life Science Laboratories, South College, Worcester Commons the Football Performance Center, and the renovated Student Union Building.

With an ongoing emphasis on innovation, Subbaswamy has positioned the university as a leader in the flexible education revolution.  Through UMass Flex, the excellence of the UMass Amherst educational experience is available worldwide, with expanded access to degree completion and professional credentials.

During his tenure, Subbaswamy has also made sustainability a campus priority, and in April 2022 announced UMass Carbon Zero — an ambitious vision to power the 1,500-acre campus with 100% renewable energy by approximately 2032.

A physicist by training, and an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Subbaswamy has spent almost his entire professional life at public research universities. Before coming to Amherst, he served as provost at the University of Kentucky since 2006. He joined the faculty at Kentucky in 1978, after serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine. During his first 18 years at the University of Kentucky, he served as associate dean of arts and sciences and as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

In other administrative positions, Subbaswamy was also dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami from 1997 to 2000. He left to become dean of arts and sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, serving until 2006 when he moved to Kentucky. He holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Bangalore University, a master’s in physics from Delhi University, and a PhD in physics from Indiana University. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989. His primary research area is the optical properties of novel materials and nonlinear excitations. He has published more than 60 articles and coauthored a book on the local density theory of polarizability.