Looking back on Chancellor Moloney’s first year

Since Moloney became the first woman chancellor, she has worked on many campus projects, most notably the 2020 Strategic Plan. (Courtesy of Lowell Sun)

Taylor Carito
Connector Editor

This was the first year for Chancellor Jacqueline Moloney, a ‘92 and ‘04 graduate of UMass Lowell and a former vice chancellor to Marty Meehan. Moloney has made several contributions over her eight years working for the university, and she continues to strive toward more advancements for years to come.

The first female chancellor hit the ground running as soon as she moved into her new office. With a mind set to continue the 2020 plan, she catapulted forward with ideas and campaigns to help improve the university and achieve the goals promoted by the plan.

So far in the decade-long 2020 plan 11 buildings have been built, enrollment has increased, and ratings and national ranks of UMass Lowell have improved. Moloney plans to continue this momentum in the upcoming years to complete the 2020 plan.

Moloney faced a tough situation earlier this year after experiencing a $2.2 million budget crisis, resulting in cuts to several projects that were funded prior, and delayed the hiring of professors and other faculty members. However, Moloney was determined to keep student expenses and projects maintained. “Students always come first here,” she said. She has always strongly advocated to improve the lives of the students, and would not let a money loss deter from the college experience.

Despite this past fall, Moloney was able to accomplish a lot in just one year as chancellor. In her first 90 days, she announced winners of 2020 grants, attended several ribbon cuttings, and launched the five pillars of excellence. Stemming from former Chancellor Meehan’s projects, Moloney has also continued to fund the construction of the new Manning School of Business building and the completion and opening of the McGauvran Student Center.

This was also a big year for sports as well. All teams that were Division II the prior year have now been promoted to Division I, and it was a big transition. Moloney has always supported the sports teams at UMass Lowell and told coaches when she became chancellor, “Marty is very competitive, and so am I.” She is excited to see the teams improve in Division I as years go on.

Throughout the course of the year, Moloney has attended several ribbon cuttings for new buildings such as the McGauvran Student Center and exhibits such as the Jack Kerouac exhibit. On a more departmental level Moloney has also hired her own team of executives to support her and provide ideas to help improve the university.

In addition to this Moloney has also continued to enforce and advocate the 2020 plan for UMass Lowell. She also  launched the Our Legacy, Our Place campaign. This campaign is aimed toward alumni and friends of UMass Lowell with a goal of raising $125 million to benefit students and the university. The chancellor will be travelling across the country to speak to other universities and alumni, to reach the campaign’s goals.

Chancellor Moloney has accomplished a lot in just one year as chancellor, and many are excited to see what she will accomplish in years to come. Moloney will be travelling the country to gain support and momentum for UMass Lowell, planning to use the money to improve the university on many levels. She and her team have been coordinating with the City of Lowell with hopes to reconstruct bridges to provide faster, more efficient transportation to and from campus and is also beginning to search and plan on a new location for dorms. “We had to waitlist of 1200 applicants this year,” Moloney said. This says a lot about the appeal of the school in terms of academics and attractiveness, but more dorms would also provide more room to accept eligible applicants.

Moloney has big plans for the future and has already accomplished a lot. She has faced several hurdles in her first year as chancellor, but she continues to put forth ideas to improve UMass Lowell immensely by 2020 and beyond.

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