Caret named Kirwan's successor as USM chancellor

  • Monday, December 22, 2014

    He brings 20 years of successful higher education leadership 

    Robert L. Caret ADELPHI, MD- (Dec. 17, 2014) - After a successful tenure as president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, Robert L. Caret will return to Maryland as chancellor of the University System of Maryland.

    James L. Shea, chairman of the USM Board of Regents, announced the board's appointment of Caret - effective July 1, 2015. Caret was president of Towson University, one of USM's 12 institutions, from 2003 to 2011.

    "The Board of Regents is very pleased that Bob Caret will take the helm as USM's fourth chancellor," Shea said. "He brings years of experience as the outstanding leader of two public universities and a public system of higher education. He is adept at building partnerships that benefit institutions and the surrounding communities. And he is very familiar with USM and the state of Maryland.

    "We are confident that he will provide the visionary and innovative leadership the University System of Maryland needs to continue to enhance opportunities for our students and our state," Shea said.

    Caret, 67, said he is "excited and energized to return to Maryland and the University System of Maryland.

    "I have dedicated 29 years of my professional career to the system and the state and to two primary goals: to ensure we provide high-quality, affordable education and that we continue to build a research-based economic engine," Caret said. "I look forward to working to ensure those two goals remain central to all that we do."

    As president of the UMass system the past three years, Caret became a leading spokesperson on challenges presented by college affordability and student debt. He emphasized efficiency, rolling out several cost-saving initiatives, and established productive working relationships with Massachusetts government and business leaders.

    His successful pursuit of a 50-50 funding formula resulted in the state and students contributing equally to the university's general education program and a 22 percent increase in the base budget for two years. He also secured additional state funding, allowing UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.

    Before joining UMass, Caret led Towson University for eight years, where he also was a member of the faculty, dean, executive vice president and provost.

    At Towson, he created partnerships with regional business, non-profit and civic organizations; raised student graduation rates; and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign to support campus infrastructure improvements. He oversaw an increase in Towson's online courses and expanded the availability of its courses at regional higher education centers.

    He also was instrumental in establishing Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, which offers transfer students the flexibility to pursue a four-year degree after completing an associate's degree at a community college. The facility is located at Harford Community College.

    From 1995 to 2003, Caret was president of San Jose State University, part of the California State University system. He is credited with bringing a vision for San Jose State as the metropolitan university of Silic