Newman Named Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for UMass System

Katherine Newman
Katherine Newman

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Katherine Newman has been named senior vice president for academic affairs for the UMass system, succeeding Marcellette Williams who will transition to a new role in the President’s Office.

According to a July 17 email from Newman to colleagues, she will begin a “gradual transition” to her new post in September. Newman’s appointment will be fully effective on Jan. 1, when Williams steps down.

Newman, who was appointed provost in 2014, is a noted sociologist and author of 15 books on topics ranging from the sociological study of the working poor in America’s urban centers, to middle class insecurity in the aftermath of recession, to school violence on a mass scale. She previously served at Johns Hopkins University as the James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and professor of sociology.

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said a transition to new leadership in the Provost’s Office will take place over the summer with an interim provost to be named prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Subbaswamy praised Newman’s three-year tenure in Amherst. He said, “I am extremely grateful for Provost Newman’s efforts over the last few years to raise the national profile of UMass Amherst. Her ability to establish innovative programs with new public and private partners has significantly increased opportunities for both students and faculty. Her efforts to increase student success and diversity will continue to bear fruit for years to come. While she will be missed in her role as provost here on the Amherst campus, I have no doubt she will make significant strides to advance the UMass system as a whole in her new capacity.”

Newman said, “It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as provost at UMass.  I am particularly grateful to the team that worked with me on a host of experiments and innovations designed to improve the teaching and research mission of the university. Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to get to know so many remarkable undergraduates, faculty members and staff who make UMass such a special place. I look forward to continuing my work with them from the vantage point of the President’s Office.”