BOSTON ― Former congressman and current UMass-Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan and Harvard Business School professor John Quelch were named Thursday as finalists to become the next leader of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system.
The board of trustees is scheduled to meet Friday when it could select either Meehan or Quelch to replace current President Robert Caret, who is stepping down to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system.
“My firm view is that we have met and have exceeded our charge by bringing forward distinguished candidates, either of whom could lead the University of Massachusetts forward and continue its impressive trajectory of progress and growth,” said Robert Manning, chairman of search committee.
Meehan served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 until 2007 when he was named chancellor of the Lowell campus, his alma mater.
Quelch is a professor of business administration at Harvard and the former dean, vice president and professor of international management at China Europe International Business School. A native of the United Kingdom, he has degrees from Oxford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.
“More and more students are going to be looking to the University of Massachusetts in the years to come, and we need to be sure that our system has the assets it needs to provide a world-class education for those students. By climbing into the ranks of the top 100 universities in the world, we have reached an elite level, but we can get even better and serve even more students,” Manning said.
A search firm contacted nearly 80 prospects and brought 20 forward for the 21-member search committee’s serious consideration.
“Both candidates have tremendous leadership capacity and would be transformative leaders for UMass,” said Philip Johnston, a UMass trustee who also served on the search panel.
UMass has nearly 73,000 students at campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell and a medical school in Worcester.