AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts President William M. Bulger today announced that Amherst campus Deputy Chancellor Marcellette G. Williams will become interim chancellor of the UMass Amherst campus as of July 1.
She will succeed Chancellor David K. Scott, who has announced plans to step down effective June 30. Dr. Williams will serve as interim chancellor as a search unfolds and until a permanent chancellor is selected.
"I have had the good fortune of working with Dr. Williams for the past five years and have been deeply impressed with her commitment, dedication, and judgment. I am certain that she will perform with great distinction," President Bulger said, announcing the appointment.
President Bulger added: "Dr. Williams has compiled a distinguished administrative and academic record during the course of her career. She will provide strong leadership."
Dr. Williams said she looked forward to serving in the position.
"The opportunity to serve in this transitional period is a privilege and a responsibility that I take to heart," she said.
"This institution has always been about excellence. We have an excellent faculty and staff, and an exceptional student body. The strength of any institution rests in its people - and our people provide the core strength of the University of Massachusetts Amherst," she said.
Dr. Williams added: "While the University is about excellence and access to opportunity, it is also about heart, and I have always been impressed with the heart of the people here -- faculty, staff, and students. I look forward to working with the University''s many constituencies after July 1 in my new role."
Chancellor David K. Scott said: "I can think of no other person who better exemplifies the type of leader academe needs today than Marcellette Williams. She combines the traditional values of excellent universities with a deep caring and compassion for all the people and components needed to make a modern university work."
He added: "An important duty of a chancellor is to recruit people who are potentially able to step up and replace their predecessors. It gives me a deep sense of closure to know that the first person I recruited to UMass has now been selected by President Bulger as the best person to serve as my immediate successor. Dr. Williams and the University will do well together."
Dr. Williams has served as deputy chancellor of the Amherst campus since 1994. She also is a tenured professor of English and Comparative Literature. Prior to joining the University, Dr. Williams served in a variety of academic and administrative positions at Michigan State University, where she earned her bachelor''s, master''s and doctoral degrees.
The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees will be asked to ratify the interim appointment when it meets Wednesday morning at UMass Boston