Public forums scheduled for March 7 for preferred candidate in provost search

Following the evaluation of internal candidates for the position of Senior Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost by a 14-member Search Advisory Committee, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy stands as the preferred candidate Tricia Serio. She is currently Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Associate Chancellor for Strategic Academic Planning.

As the next step in the research process, Dean Serio will meet with a series of campus speakers on Monday, March 7. Two public forums for members of our community will be included in his interview schedule:

  • Faculty and Staff Forum: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Amherst room, 10th floor, Campus Center
  • Student Forum: 3:45-4:30 p.m., Amherst room, 10th floor, Campus Center

In instructing the Advisory Committee, the Chancellor noted that the position of Provost is perhaps the most demanding and complex leadership position on campus and that he is looking for a qualified individual with extensive experience leading large multi-faceted academic organizations. The committee is chaired by Brandi Hephner LaBancVice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life.

The provost is the academic director of UMass Amherst. The primary responsibility of the provost is to advance the academic mission of the university in the areas of discovery, learning, and service. The Provost works closely with school and college deans, department heads and chairs, and other senior leaders to deliver the highest quality undergraduate and graduate educational programs. Other key provost priorities include recruiting, retaining and supporting an exceptional and diverse faculty, and supporting faculty efforts to advance knowledge, engage in creative activity and serve the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

Dean Serio joined UMass as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences in August 2017 after serving as a professor and head of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. His professional honors include the 2016 Mid-Career Research Excellence Award from the American Society for Cell Biology, the Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences for 2003-07, and the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute for 2001-06. In 2022, she was selected for membership in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the leading scientific institution in the United States. She earned a BS in Molecular Biology from Lehigh University and an M.Phil. and doctorate. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale. She was a postdoctoral fellow in molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago.

Harry L. Blanchard