UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy Announces Plans to Retire at the End of June 2023
AMHERST, Mass – University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, under whose leadership the commonwealth’s flagship campus experienced a decade of unprecedented success and momentum, today announced that he will retire at the end of June 2023.
Subbaswamy arrived in Amherst in July 2012, and during his tenure the campus has excelled in a wide range of key areas, including attracting growing numbers of diverse, high-achieving students, steadily improving graduation rates, and conducting cutting-edge research with real-world impact.
“It has been a privilege to serve as chancellor of this great university,” Subbaswamy said. “I will forever treasure the support and friendship of the faculty, staff, students and alumni whom I’ve come to know over the past decade and am grateful for all that we have accomplished together. By channeling our revolutionary spirit, we have become one of the fastest rising top-tier public research universities in the country and I am confident that, in its next chapter, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will soar even higher.”
UMass President Marty Meehan said, “Chancellor Subbaswamy’s leadership of UMass Amherst over the last decade has been truly extraordinary by any measure. The university has grown in impact and national stature under his skillful guidance, while he has always remained focused on student success. That was never more evident than during the last two years of unprecedented challenge and change. It has been an honor to call Swamy a friend and colleague.”
Robert Manning, chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, said, “UMass Amherst has blossomed with Chancellor Subbaswamy as its leader. That has required skilled management, the ability to recruit great people, a sense of humor, and an unyielding pursuit of the land grant mission to serve Massachusetts and the nation through excellent teaching, high-impact research, and powerful service.” Chairman Manning has named UMass Trustee and UMass Amherst alumnus Victor Woodridge as chair of the search committee that will be appointed to identify candidates to be the next UMass Amherst chancellor.
In the latest U.S. News & World Report Colleges Guide, UMass Amherst is ranked No. 26 among the 209 public universities included in the national survey. A rankings rise from No. 52 in 2010 marks an extraordinary 26-step ascent, principally during Subbaswamy’s tenure.
As the reputation of the flagship campus continues to grow, first-year undergraduate applications have increased by 30 percent over the past 10 years. The six-year graduation rate has increased steadily to 84%, and student diversity continues to grow, with 37 percent of this past year’s entering class being students of color, up from 21% a decade ago.
Under Subbaswamy’s leadership, the university has played a pivotal and unique role in educating the commonwealth. UMass Amherst alone enrolls more first-year students from Massachusetts than do the commonwealth’s top eight private universities combined. In addition, UMass Amherst awards more undergraduate STEM degrees than any other college or university in Massachusetts, public or private.
Meanwhile, the university’s research enterprise is driving innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges and boosting the state’s economy. In FY 2021, UMass Amherst totaled $213 million in research expenditures, and it ranked first among public universities in New England in National Science Foundation grant awards.
UMass Amherst recently secured major investments in computer science, fueling the Massachusetts tech economy. An $18 million naming gift will endow the Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences. A state investment of $75 million—along with $30 million from the Amherst campus—will enhance and expand the college’s facilities, enabling accelerated enrollment growth.
The university is also playing a lead role to help address the commonwealth’s pressing health care needs supported by the largest gift in UMass Amherst history to the Marieb College of Nursing. The $21.5 million naming gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation is advancing the university’s innovative nursing engineering center, and it is also providing support for student scholarships, an endowed professorship, and mentorship and research initiatives designed to further access, equity and excellence in nursing education.
Subbaswamy emphasized that much remains to be done in the coming months. “Over the next year, I will remain focused on fulfilling our mission as the flagship campus of the commonwealth,” he said. “Together, we will work on significant university efforts, such as expanding flexible learning; advancing our Carbon Zero, renewable energy plans; addressing campus issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and preparing for our new fundraising campaign.”