Javier Reyes succeeds Subbaswammy as the next Chancellor at UMass Amherst

After a lengthy process that began last summer, The Board of Trustees voted to appoint Reyes during a special meeting


UMass Amherst

Reyes during Monday’s Meet-the-Candidate session.


 Dr. Javier Reyes, the interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois Chicago succeeds Kumble R. Subbaswammy as the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, making history as the first Hispanic chancellor at the flagship. 


A 21-member committee chaired by UMass Amherst alumni Victor Woolridge began the search on July 15, 2022 for Chancellor after Subbaswammy announced his plans to retire this June. 


The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday morning to appoint Reyes as chancellor during a special meeting. 


“From the very beginning of the search process, we were determined to find a bold and innovative leader,” said UMass Amherst President Marty Meehan in an email to the student body, “who could build on all that has been accomplished over the past decade and help drive our flagship campus to even higher levels of achievement.”


After the announcement, Subbaswammy said in a Tweet, “Excited to welcome Javier Reyes as the next chancellor of @UmassAmherst! His experience at two land-grant flagships, record of assembling/leading collaborative teams, his temperament, and his friendly personality all bode well for UMass Amherst’s future.” 

Reyes has been interim Chancellor at the University of Illinois Chicago since July 1, 2022. At UIC, Reyes was responsible for a $3.6 billion budget, 13,000 faculty and staff, and 16 academic colleges, according to Reyes’s biography on the UMass Amherst Chancellor search page. 


Before his interim Chancellor status, Reyes became a provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UIC on Aug. 16, 2021. He “advised on academic policy, strategic direction, enrollment management, and academic resource planning.”


The board had 108 potential candidates at the beginning of the search process, according to Meehan’s email. After interviews, and being left with two designated finalists who visited campus to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and elected officials, Reyes stood out the most. 


Javier Reyes has demonstrated uncommon energy and vision throughout his career,” said Meehan, “A bold and innovative leader, he has inspired students in the classroom, supported initiatives that have unleashed the teaching and research talents of faculty, and connected great public universities to the socio-economic aspirations of their communities. I am convinced that he will be a fitting successor to the man who has guided UMass Amherst with such skill and distinction over the last decade, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy.”

Contact Liesel at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @LieselNygard

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