UMass Boston Faculty Council endorses chancellor finalist

Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco spoke during a visit to the UMass Boston campus last Friday. UMass Boston photo

The UMass Boston Faculty Council unanimously endorsed the lone finalist for the school's chancellor position on Tuesday, 21 months after its disappointment with the previous round of candidates prompted all three to withdraw.

Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, currently a dean at the University of California Los Angeles, earned support from the entire Faculty Council after meeting with students, staff and other community members during a daylong campus visit Friday.

"The selection of such an excellent candidate is due to an unusually representative search process, which included an unprecedented five faculty members as part of this committee, one of whom served as the committee’s co-chair," said C. Heike Schotten, a political science professor and chair of the council. "The robust inclusion of faculty voice led to an outcome that better reflects faculty's aspirations and concerns as well as the value of shared governance."

In May 2018, the last time finalists reached the campus visit stage, all three candidates dropped out after the Faculty Council questioned their qualifications. Suarez-Orozco still needs to secure a recommendation from UMass President Marty Meehan and a vote from the school's Board of Trustees, but Schotten said the council "look(s) forward to welcoming Dr. Suarez-Orozco to our campus and to working with him to move UMass Boston into the future."

Meehan said in a statement that the council's unanimous support is "extremely significant" and that he is still preparing to make his recommendation to trustees. A search committee unanimously backed Suarez-Orozco last week as the best choice — and only finalist — to lead the school, citing his strong academic credentials and his personal story of success after immigrating from Argentina as a model for the university's urban mission.