Adviser named to work with UMass Boston chancellor on issues of Black equity, justice

Joseph N. Cooper

Joseph N. Cooper has been appointed a special assistant to the chancellor at UMass Boston where he will advise Marcelo Suárez-Orozco on matters of importance to Black faculty, students, and staff.

“UMass Boston must stand for a higher education agenda of excellence animated by an ethic of care and solidarity,” said Suárez-Orozco in a statement last week. “Dr. Cooper brings to this new position a wealth of empirical research, personal experience, and cultural insights into addressing the complexities of engineering and building a path forward for Black equity and justice.”

Cooper was the inaugural J. Keith Motley Endowed Chair for Sport Leadership and Administration at UMass Boston in August 2019. He previously was an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, where he specialized in sport management, gender and race in sport, and higher education. His research concentrates on the nexus between sport, education, race, and culture.

“I am honored to serve in this new role and further the university’s mission and commitment to creating an anti-racist campus for all students, faculty, and staff,” Cooper said. “I am a proponent of collective responsibility and excellence, which means the problems we seek to solve require the talents, skills, and contributions of all who are committed to improving our university and society at large.”

In July, Suárez-Orozco and his wife, Carola, established the endowed George Floyd Honorary Scholarship Fund to provide financial support to talented students who otherwise may find it difficult or impossible to pay for a college education. The fund was seeded by a $50,000 pledge from Suárez-Orozco and quickly exceeded $125,000 in commitments.