Virtual School Meanderings

April 20, 2010

2010 KEYNOTE: Jack M. Wilson, Ph.D., President, University of Massachusetts

From my inbox…


USDLA National Conference

Dear USDLA Members,


Distance Learning: Diverse, Innovative, Efficient, and Sustainable

May 2 -5, 2010

St. Louis, Missouri

Register today:

Read More About Our Keynote Dr. Wilson for Monday, May 3, 2010

Jack M. Wilson, Ph.D.
University of Massachusetts
Monday, May 3, 2010

Jack M. Wilson is the 25th President of the five-campus, 60,000-student University of Massachusetts System-serving since September 2, 2003. 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.

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 has increased the allocation of internal funds to financial aid by over 150 percent during his first five years at a time when financial aid from other sources was not growing substantially.

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 has made $1.6 billion in capital investments in the first five years and has 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. 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.

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. 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. 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.
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 lives with his wife Judi and their two children, John and Jessica, in Westborough, Massachusetts. He also has two grown daughters, Erika and Gretchen, and four wonderful grandchildren: Kipras, Lena, Nida, and Norris.

Register today:

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