Motley picks second in command

In the first big hire of his new administration, UMass-Boston Chancellor Keith Motley tapped a twelve-year campus veteran this week for his chief of staff.

Christopher Hogan, who lives in Lynn with his wife and three children, has served as the university's associate vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and special projects and programs since 2005.

He also served as the chancellor's special assistant when Motley had the job on the interim and as assistant vice chancellor of student affairs when Motley headed the division under then-Chancellor Jo Ann Gora.

Hogan, 44, will handle internal relations on campus and work on implementing the campus's master planning effort. A former director of North Shore Community College's Upward Bound program, he volunteers at the Lynn Boys and Girls Club and organizes the Pee Wee Basketball League.

Hogan was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

Appointed to the position permanently in June, Chancellor Motley is working through assembling his executive staff.

Nearly all staffers, except for two secretaries, under former Chancellor Michael Collins, who left for the interim top job at UMass Medical as part of a university system-wide shuffle, have departed. Motley has brought over his assistant and personal driver from his tenure at the UMass president's office as a vice president.

Deputy Chancellor Drew O'Brien, the Collins administration's point man for exploring bringing dorms to campus, returned to Sen. John Kerry's office to take back his old job as state director as the junior senator gears up for his re-election run, while Kathleen Quinn-Powers, Collins's chief of staff, decamped to Worcester with the former Caritas Christi chief.

In another major appointment, Motley also promoted Winston Langley from associate provost to associate chancellor.

Langley, another long-time university insider, has served on a number of campus committees, including recent searches for a permanent UMass president and the committee that eventually - and controversially - picked Collins over Motley and another candidate from University of Michigan in 2005.

No longer simply a vice chancellor of student affairs or warming the chancellor's seat for another candidate, Motley now wades fully into university politics in meetings with faculty and staff, but may wait until the fall to stamp in imprint on reports from various subcommittees on the campus's future, including dorms, university officials say.

The reports are aimed at setting the university on course to increase the number of students to 15,000 by 2010, up from the current 13,000 as part of its master planning efforts.

The June report from the student life subcommittee recommended the university "pursue a path that integrates on-campus residence halls with an enhanced management of the areas" for students in the apartments in Harbor Point.

Motley has not yet appointed an individual to deal with dorms, according to university officials, who say the prospect of "living learning communities," as Collins referred to dorms, remain a ways down the road.

After the press conference announcing Motley as the permanent chancellor in May, he said dorms could be part of the school's urban mission.

Opponents, both on and off campus, have said dorms could alter the make-up of the university and were never part of a mission established in the 1970s.

Campus housing was placed on the campus's backburner after Gora, who strongly denied dorms would change the mission, stumbled badly in pitching dorms to Dorchester civic groups and soon after left for Ball State University.

Motley also plans to start holding monthly "office hours," a slight departure from times both former Gora and Collins would set aside specifically for students.

In an e-mail to the campus community last week, Motley wrote, "I value the opinions of all members of the University community and I see regular, face-to-face dialogue as a critical component of campus leadership, so I am looking forward to getting the Open Office Hours program under way."

UMass President Jack Wilson this week kicks off his own "office hours" at UMass-Boston, with others to follow at the university system's other four campuses.

No specific schedule or regularity for the "office hours" has been established yet, according to Robert Connolly, a Wilson spokesman.

The office hours will consist of eight 15-minute appointments available on a first-come, first-serve basis this morning, beginning at 9 am in the Chancellor's Office.

"We think this was another way for the president to be in touch with the campus constituencies," Connolly said.