Retirement of Deputy Chancellor Robert S. Feldman

To the Campus Community:

It is with mixed emotions that I write to let you know that Deputy Chancellor Robert S. Feldman, who has also been serving as Interim Dean of the College of Education for the last year, will be retiring from the University in June after close to 40 years at UMass Amherst. 

Bob agreed last year to step in to the deanship of the College of Education on top of his duties as Deputy Chancellor, and I am grateful he agreed to serve until we found a permanent dean. The faculty, staff, and students in Education have benefited greatly from his leadership.

Indeed, Bob has served the entire university extraordinarily well during his long career.  I recruited him to be Deputy Chancellor three years ago, and he has been one of my key advisors since. His expertise, leadership, and deep knowledge of this campus have been extraordinarily valuable to me as we have worked to raise the profile of the University nationally and internationally. His ability to work across traditional disciplinary and executive boundaries has allowed him to advance key priorities for the University, and he shares a vision for this campus that places us among the top public universities in the country.

Bob has left his mark on this campus in many ways. As Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, a position he held for five years, Bob vigorously advanced the agenda of social and behavioral sciences, and he put in place the building blocks for the Institute for Social Science Research and the Computational Social Science Initiative.

Furthermore, Bob’s work to improve student learning and success have been hallmarks of his career. He initiated our campus’ Power Up program for first-year students, edited volumes on improving the college experience, and he is author of a number of college textbooks, including a seminal introductory psychology text that is now in its 13th edition.  His dedication to our students is one reason he has continued to teach first year students while also serving in the administration. 

As a member of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, where he spent most of his UMass career, Bob focused his research on explaining everyday lying and deception. He has written more than 200 scientific articles, book chapters, and books, and he is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a winner of a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer award, recipient of the College Distinguished Teacher Award, and he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, Wesleyan University. He is also past-president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) Foundation. 

Bob’s contributions to UMass Amherst are unmatched, and his shoes will not easily be filled.  But I certainly understand Bob’s wish to take on several new challenges and indulge in a great deal of travel with his wife, Katherine Vorwerk, who retired from Psychology in 2004 after many years of dedicated teaching.

Please join me in honoring Bob’s contributions to this campus and wishing him luck in his new endeavors at a reception on April 7, 2017 from 3:00-5:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center.


Kumble Subbaswamy