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Meet the Chancellor: Javier Reyes

Over the summer, at the end of Kumble Subbaswamy’s 11-year tenure, Javier Reyes took on the role of chancellor of UMass Amherst. “My wife, Maritza, and I are excited about making Massachusetts our home and doing our part to elevate UMass Amherst toward the top 20 public universities in the United States,” says Reyes, age 48.

The new chancellor comes to campus with a strong track record of leadership. He began his career in higher education as a faculty member in the economics department at the University of Arkansas. He later became vice provost for online and distance education and associate dean for undergraduate studies and executive education at Arkansas’s Sam M. Walton College of Business and has also served as Milan Puskar Dean of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. Prior to joining UMass, he served as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago’s largest university campus. Former Chancellor Subbaswamy says that Reyes’s “prior experience at two land-grant flagships, his record of assembling and leading collaborative teams, his temperament, and his friendly personality all bode well for the continuation of UMass Amherst’s progress and impact into the future.”

Gov. Maura Healey calls him “an innovative and dynamic leader who will harness the full potential of UMass Amherst,” and says, “I’m confident that he will inspire students and faculty alike to continue growing the school’s excellence in education and research.”

Get to know the new chancellor:


Mexico City, Mexico


Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Estado de Mexico; PhD in economics from Texas A&M University

Previous job

Interim chancellor, University of Illinois Chicago

Biggest barrier broken

First Hispanic chancellor of UMass Amherst


An expert in distance education and global economic matters, Reyes has published articles in many leading economics and business journals.


Wife, Maritza, and two college-age sons, Javi and Diego

Favorite sports team

Dallas Cowboys

Favorite Star Wars characters

Yoda and Darth Vader

Favorite books on leadership

The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey and It’s Your Ship by D. Michael Abrashoff

Javier Reyes standing with two students in a lab, posing for a picture.

Help with Reyes’s first-semester orientation

With such a beautiful and expansive university campus and a charming downtown to boot, we know Amherst is crammed with delights. What are your favorites? A secret spot to relax, a favorite food, a cherished view? Share your recommendations for Chancellor Reyes as he settles in—email us at