The ongoing search for a permanent chancellor is not new to UMass Boston.
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 had a full schedule in order to keep the entire UMass Boston community involved and up-to-date in the search. In a press release from Aug. 27, 2019, the Office of Communication put out: “ 'The next permanent chancellor should have the skills, vision and determination to lead an already outstanding urban public research university to new levels of accomplishment,' Manning said in a statement read to the committee. The search committee will develop a pool of candidates and submit finalists to President Meehan, who will recommend one finalist to the Board of Trustees for approval.” The day consisted of:
10–11 a.m. meeting with alumni, donors, community, friends
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. meeting with faculty
12:30–1:30 p.m meeting with students
1:45–2:45 p.m. meeting with staff
3–4 p.m. meeting with Dean’s Council
4:15–5 p.m. open forum
The student meeting, set in the Alumni Lounge, had pizza, salad and drinks, with a long table at the front of the room. Spearheaded by R. Norman Peters, Vice-Chair, UMass Board of Trustees, the event began with the introduction of three of the four students who make up part of the search committee. First is Sara Tariq, former student member, UMass Board of Trustees; followed by Kahrim Wade, manager, Quinn Graphics; the 2015 Chancellor’s Achievement Award recipient, current UMass Boston student; and finally, Samantha “Sam” Zeno, UMass Boston Undergraduate Student Body President.
While everyone inched their way over to the table with their pizza slices and salads, those already sitting at the table set up their laptops to take notes.
A few students showed up: Abby Glick, one sophomore named Leia, Janrey Javier, Kush Patel, and the members of the student council. A couple students needed to leave for class but that didn’t stop the meeting from progressing.
The first question was: "The goal of the session is to hear from you and to understand as clearly as possible your view of the points I just mentioned; with the particular emphasis on the question where should UMass Boston be heading? What kind of leader can lead UMass Boston toward where it needs to be and where it needs to go?" He went on to request a discussion from the students.
Sam Zeno, coming from class said, "I am able to give my perspective on the search committee level as well." She went on to say, "I definitely think it's very important and especially with working with a lot of different administrators, you can clearly tell when someone has had the experience in a public institution such as UMass Boston or a UMass campus and when they haven't."
As the conversation progressed, and though failure of some administration was brought to attention, the good was highlighted too. One main conclusion was that there needed to be a chain of command that the students can go to. One student mentioned how people aren’t utilizing the Undergraduate Student Government as much as they could be.
Kush Patel, student trustee stated: “I think another thing as well is, students, they come to campus and they come to classes but it's tough for a lot of students who are commuting. Especially to feel some sort of, like, home within our campus—obviously because, you know, UMass Boston is seen in the news all the time. It's always something that's negative about the campus. So, people, especially students when they're coming in or they're looking at applying here.”