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.”
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.