Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UMass Amherst on the Move -- from Administration to Basketball

I am back from Sweden less than 72 hours and today is certainly an exciting day for the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Last evening, the official announcement came out that the 30th Chancellor of UMass Amherst has been approved by the Board of Trustees and it is a physicist, Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy, who was born in India and is presently the Provost at the University of Kentucky (and for all the basketball fans out there you know that Kentucky has made the Final Four in the NCAA championship).

According to The Boston Globe: During his first visit, he displayed erudition and wit, said Max Page, an architecture and history professor who leads PHENOM, a lobbying group for public higher education in Massachusetts.

“When he came to campus, he started his speech with this Thomas Jefferson quote: ‘Let us in education dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity,’ ” Page said. “For me, anyone who leads with a Jefferson quote is going to have a leg up.”

As for basketball, Rick Pitino, the coach of the University of Louisville's basketball team, had been a basketball player at UMass Amherst and John Calipari, the coach of the University of Kentucky team, had been our basketball coach in the 1990s. Their teams are matched up in the Final Four game this Saturday. I had visited with Coach Cal when he was at the University of Memphis, since one of my former doctoral students at the Isenberg School of Management, Dr. Tina Wakolbinger, was an Assistant Professor there, and had invited me to speak. She is now a Full Professor at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

But there is more exciting basketball news -- Tonight, UMass Amherst plays against Stanford University in Madison Square Garden in NYC in the NIT Final Four! Such a matchup happened back in 1991.