Robert Caret

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Robert Caret
Robert Caret.jpg
Born Robert Laurent Caret
(1947-10-07) October 7, 1947 (age 68)
Biddeford, Maine
Occupation Chancellor, University System of Maryland

Robert Laurent Caret (born October 7, 1947) is the chancellor of the University System of Maryland. He became chancellor on July 1, 2015. Caret, a native of New England, became chancellor of the University System of Maryland after completing presidencies at San Jose State University, Towson University and the University of Massachusetts.


Born in Biddeford, Maine to a restaurant owner, Caret was the first in his family to attend college.[1] Caret received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 and his bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics from Suffolk University in 1969. His honorary degrees include two that he has awarded while president of the University of Massachusetts System—a Doctor of Humane Letters from Saint Joseph's College of Maine and Westfield State University (2012) San Jose University (2004) and National Hispanic University (1997) and a Doctor of Science degree from Suffolk University (1996).


Caret became president of San Jose State University in February 1995.[1] From 2003 to 2011, Caret was president of Towson University where he had previously served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his 29-year tenure. From Towson University, he moved to the University of Massachusetts System, where he served as president of UMass and its five campuses. On December 17, 2014, it was announced that Caret would be the next chancellor of the [University System of Maryland], replacing William English Kirwan who announced in May 2014 that he would retire upon the appointment and start date of his successor.[2] Between 1995 and 2003, he left Towson to assume the presidency of San Jose State University. Caret took an active role in campaigning for a joint city/university effort to build the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose, California.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2012, Caret was elected to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the primary coordinating and advocacy body for all of the nation's colleges and universities. During his years in Massachusetts, he served on the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Board, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center Board, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Board, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Board, the New England Council Board, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Board, and as a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. He is also on the Executive Committee of the National Association of System Heads (NASH), the Executive Steering Committee of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities's Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) and is a member of the Board of Directors for 1st Mariner Bancorp and the Board of Advisors for Evergreen Capital LLC.

With his return to Maryland, Caret serves on a number of boards. His service on boards in the state of Maryland includes the Greater Baltimore Committee, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, University of Maryland Medical System, College Savings Plans of Maryland, World Trade Center Institute, Maryland Council on Economic Education, BioHealth Innovation, Inc., and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, he serves on The Center Club Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.

In 2003, Caret was named as one of Silicon Valley's "100 power brokers" by San Jose Magazine. Upon returning to Maryland, Caret became a founding member of the Maryland Business Council in 2004 and serves as a member of the board of directors of the CollegeBound Foundation. He was elected for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and will also serve as the AASCU representative to the American Council on Education Board during the same time period.

Caret has made numerous presentations and published professionally in the fields of chemistry, chemical education and higher education. He has authored chapters in two monographs on the mission and role of institutions, and has co-authored and published four textbooks in the fields of organic chemistry and allied health chemistry. His awards and recognitions include the State of Maryland Governor's Employee Incentive Award, the San José Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Leadership in Excellence Award (1999), the Italian American Heritage Foundation Achievement Award (2001) and the Outstanding College President Award from the All-American Football Foundation (2001). He is also listed in several editions of "Who's Who in America".

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library[edit]

In 1997 Caret and former San José Mayor Susan Hammer discussed the idea of creating a joint library to benefit the city of San Jose and San Jose State University. The resulting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library opened in August 2003 and became the first university and city joint library in the United States. Additionally the library is the largest west of the Mississippi, with 8 stories plus a mezzanine and serves over 1 million people every year.

U. Mass compensation controversy[edit]

When details of Caret's presidential compensation at the University of Massachusetts were made public in 2012, it sparked complaints among faculty, students, and some Massachusetts lawmakers.[3] Caret’s employment agreement guaranteed him a six-month sabbatical if he remained on the job for three years and a yearlong sabbatical if he stayed for five years. Caret earned $425,000, but his contract called for raises of $25,000 in each of the next two years.

The contract also provided for a $60,000 housing allowance, a $63,750 retirement annuity, an additional $250,000 in deferred compensation set aside over the next three years, and annual performance bonuses of up to 15 percent of his salary.


  1. ^ a b Bartindale, Becky (December 9, 2002). "San Jose State president credited with putting university on map". Archived from the original on December 20, 2002. 
  2. ^ "Caret to Return to Maryland as USM Chancellor". Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ "A pricey - and familiar - perk for new UMass head". The Boston Globe.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mark L. Perkins
Towson University president
July, 2003-June, 2011
Succeeded by
Marcia G. Welsh
Preceded by
Jack M. Wilson
University of Massachusetts president
June, 2011-June 30, 2015
Succeeded by
Marty Meehan