Jack M. Wilson
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Jack M. Wilson is the President Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts and University Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Innovation, and Emerging Technologies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Wilson served as the 25th President of the five-campus, 60,000-student University of Massachusetts System, serving from September 2, 2003 to June 30, 2011. He also served as the interim President of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate from July 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012, where he had previously served on the Board of Directors. He served as the Founding Chair of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. He has served as the Chair of the US Department of Educaiton Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) Advisory Board from 2010 to the present. During his career, he has served various institutions as Professor of Physics, Department Chair, Research Center Director, Dean, Vice President, Provost, and a private sector entrepreneur. At the University of Massachusetts, he served previously as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and as founding CEO of UMassOnline. During the Academic Year 2012-13 he served as the interim Dean of Engineering at UMass Lowell.
Prior to arriving at UMass, Wilson was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he also had served as a Dean, Research Center Director, and Provost. Before being appointed at Rensselaer, he served at the University of Maryland, College Park and as an officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Institute of Physics, and the American Physical Society. At the University of Massachusetts, Wilson called for a rededication to the land grant mission as it might be viewed in the context of a modern innovative society. In order to emphasize the critical role that the University plays in the Commonwealth, he would often assert that: "The path to economic and social development in Massachusetts goes through the University of Massachusetts."
Believing that financial aid is the key to affordability and accessibility, Wilson increased financial aid by 267% during his eight year term at a time when financial aid from other sources was not growing substantially. To set an example for others, he established the Jack M. Wilson Presidential Scholarship Fund with a gift of a $1,775,000 life insurance policy -including matching funds from supportive donors. At the time of his retirement as President in 2011, additional donations had brought the total fund to $2.1 million.
Recognizing that the University was in dire need of an investment in infrastructure, he restructured the UMass Building Authority and launched a building program that had made $1.6 billion in capital investments in the first five years of his eight year term and had established a capital program of $2.9 billion more to be carried out over the next decade.
He created Presidential grant programs to encourage the growth of research and the creative economy. During his eight years as President research at the University increased by 69% and the commercialization of the intellectual property generated by that research increased by 105%. This put UMass at eighth in the nation at the time of his departure -according to the ranking of the Association of Technology Managers.
He established International programs as a major priority and recruited the first Vice President to carry the title "International Relations" as part of her title. He identified Africa, Japan, China, Germany, India, and the Portuguese language countries as particular first targets of opportunity-building on existing relationships of the university and his own work.
As the CEO of UMassOnline, he helped to build the system-wide initiative into one of the largest externally directed online programs in the United States, with 64 graduate and undergraduate degree and certificate programs now serving more than 37,000 enrollees. By 2010 the enrollment stood at 46,000 and the program earned nearly $70 million in revenues for the University.
He was appointed to the U.S. Education Commission of the States in 2005 by Governor Mitt Romney and then reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick. The FBI honored him for his service on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board.
Wilson is nationally and internationally known for his leadership in the reform of higher education programs, winning the Theodore Hesburgh Award, the Boeing Award, and the Pew Charitable Trust Prize for his innovative programs. He was awarded an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the U.S. Army for service to the Army Education program. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has also served as a member or chair of several National Academy of Science and National Research Council study committees and task forces.
An Entrepreneur: Wilson was the founder, CEO, and Chairman of the LearnLinc Corporation, founded in 1993 as a spin-off of his university research. After several mergers he formed the publicly traded (NASDAQ) Mentergy Corporation, leaving the company in the next year. Following the formation of Mentergy through a triple reverse merger with Gilat Communications, John Bryce Training and Allen Communications in early 2001, the company's market value on NASDAQ was approximately $500 million. Wilson's expertise in building links between higher education, government and business led to his becoming the co-founder of the Paul Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship as well as other programs. He has served as a consultant to many computing and communications firms including IBM, AT&T, Lucent, Hewlett Packard, and Boeing Flight Safety International.
- American Council on Education and TIAA-CREF: The Theodore Hesburgh Award.
- Boeing Corporation: The Boeing Award.
- The Pew Charitable Trust: The Pew Prize.
- United States Army: Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for service to the Army Education program.
- Am. Physical Society: Fellow of American Physical Society.
- FBI -Department of Justice: Exceptional Service in the Public Interest.
- Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council: Workforce Leader of the Year, 2010.
- Mass High Tech Magazine: Massachusetts All Star, 2005.
- Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America: Westborough Good Scout Award, November 2010.
- Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development: Statewide Strategic Asset award, 2004.
He was appointed in 2005, by Governor Mitt Romney, as a Massachusetts Commissioner to the Education Commission of the States. He was reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2010.
Wilson earned his bachelor's degree at Thiel College in 1967, his master's degree in 1970 and his doctorate in 1972 in Physics both from Kent State University. He is married and the father of four children with four grandchildren.
- "About the President- Jack M. Wilson PhD". University of Massachusetts. March 1, 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
|President of the University of Massachusetts
2003 - 2011