The Meehan Factor: UMass Lowell Rises (Globe Profile)

Today’s Boston Globe Magazine traces the upward trajectory of UMass Lowell in the five years since Marty Meehan was named Chancellor. The positive results are evident every day in the city and state, but the impact will be long range for the growing number of students enrolled, the research and scholarly contributions, and the institutional influence. I was in the first graduating class, 1976, that had the option to have the word “university” on the undergraduate degree. People who had started at Lowell State or Lowell Tech could opt to have that institutional name. I’ve always been glad that I chose “university.”

Read Jon Marcus’s article here, and get the Globe if you want more.

UMass Lowell is suddenly hot. Its ambitious upgrades, along with an aggressive recruiting push, have helped triple the number of applications in the past five years, from 3,439 to nearly 10,000. Enrollment has increased 37 percent while Meehan has been chancellor, to more than 15,000, while the number of students at flagship UMass Amherst edged up only a third as much. The average SAT score among incoming freshmen has jumped by 44 points. So has the university’s place in the all-important US News & World Report rankings, rising 11 spots to 177th among national universities.


Watch for special coverage of UMass Lowell in the SUN for expanded reporting on this important higher education story.

2 Responses to The Meehan Factor: UMass Lowell Rises (Globe Profile)

  1. jdayne says:

    Many thanks for highlighting/linking to this piece. Gardner and I truly believe that one great hope for Lowell’s prosperous future, as well as a great contributor to its present, is a vibrant, attractive and academically excellent UML.

    Chancellor Meehan is a gift from the gods to a city that likes to limit its talent to Lowell-born/Lowell-bred–this later not being a winning or truly useful strategy in a globally competitive world. My guess is that the success of UML with its new ability to attract not just OPM (other people’s money) but OP into the city will be very good indeed for the collective future here.

    Early in our time in Lowell, a professor of mine from business school at U Michigan had reason to come to see us in Lowell. This professor is pretty well known with an expertise in international economics, particularly Asia. I spoke with Chancellor Meehan, briefly, about looping her into some short program at UML (maybe a week seminar), to introduce my professor to UML. She has extensive contacts in Asia, and is an excellent resource for drawing qualified Asian students to the USA but recognizes that Michigan is not right for every student whose family approaches her for entre.

    Chancellor Meehan was interested in the concept, with a smart eye on drawing more full fare/fully prepared Asian students to UML. My friend was not. She was quite dismissive in her brutally honest UK educated/Asian raised way. UML, she concluded in an email to me, just wasn’t ready.

    She is wrong, and I look forward to her comments on this Globe article!

  2. Joe S says:

    I suffer when I hear people cry for more taxes out of the University, and with each new development those cries repeat themselves. The loss in taxation is a small price to pay for a huge economic engine. Usually, the critics are those who want to keep Lowell as it is (or has been), are not interested in new people or ideas, and sometimes exhibit an inbred mentality.

    Keep it going, UML!