AMHERST, MA(wfcr) -
Many in the UMASS Amherst community are reacting with surprise to the news of changes in the university's administration. UMASS President Jack Wilson announced this week that the post of chancellor currently held by John Lombardi will be eliminated in a year's time, with Wilson, himself, stepping in to fill the position's duties. At the same time he will also serve as the system-wide president. Chancellor Lombardi will stay on for the next academic year to smooth the transition to the new system, before retiring. Ernest May, secretary of the Faculty Senate at UMASS Amherst says there's a sense of shock on the campus.
May says all faculty members have now received a memo from President Wilson, laying out his plan for the next year. In writing, Wilson describes the changes as a trial run of a model being used at other state university systems, including Penn State, Indiana, and North Carolina. But May expressed some reservations about whether UMASS was ready for this particular model.
University trustees will monitor the progress of the model over the next year-- and if the old system is proven to be better, there will be a search for a new chancellor for Amherst.