Provost Subbaswamy chosen as chancellor at UMass Amherst

Kumble Subbaswamy

University of Kentucky Provost Kumble Subbaswamy was chosen Monday as the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s next chancellor. He accepted the job.

Chancellor is the highest position at UMass Amherst, which is the largest public university in New England and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ flagship institution.

UK President Eli Capilouto congratulated Subbaswamy in a campus-wide email Monday night.

“It is not surprising that an exemplary university such as UMass Amherst would want someone of Swamy’s caliber to be at the helm,” Capilouto said in the email. “He is, quite simply, an outstanding scholar and administrator. We have been fortunate to have him as part of our community for so much of his career.”

Subbaswamy was one of four finalists for the position chosen by a chancellor search committee, according to a UMass Amherst news release. The university’s president, Robert L. Caret, recommended Subbaswamy, and its board of trustees unanimously approved him for the job.

“Moments like this define who we are as a university, what our values are, and what our vision is for ourselves and for the people of the Commonwealth. With that thought in mind, I am proud to recommend Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy — a man who has devoted his life to pursuing excellence, to opening doors and to serving others,” Caret said in the news release.

Subbaswamy has been provost at UK since 2006 and once was a member of the physics faculty, as well as an associate dean for the College of Arts & Sciences and the chair of the physics and astronomy department. He has a Ph.D. in theoretical condensed matter physics. As provost, he serves as UK’s chief academic officer.

Subbaswamy has recently been a finalist for top positions at other schools across the country but was not selected for the jobs. Most recently, he was one of two finalists for president at the University of Utah in January. In September, he was one of two finalists for the Iowa State University presidency, and in 2010 he was the runner-up for the University of Illinois’ top position.

The other three finalists for the UMass job were Sona Andrews, vice chancellor for academic strategies in the Oregon University system; Susan Phillips, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at State University of New York’s school in Albany; and Carlos Santiago, CEO of the Hispanic College Fund and a former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

UMass Amherst has some connections to UK basketball. Current UK head coach John Calipari coached there from 1988 to 1996, and former UK head coach and current University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino played there in the 1970s. Incidentally, the two coaches’ current teams play each other Saturday in the NCAA Tournament Final Four.

Subbaswamy will start at UMass on July 1.

Read more about Subbaswamy on UK’s website.

Read more about the UMass Amherst chancellor search process.


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