Chancellor of UMass Lowell

Marty T. Meehan

Marty Meehan is the second chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the 15th leader of the institution, founded in the 1890s as the Lowell Normal and Lowell Textile schools.

Since assuming the chancellorship in 2007, Marty Meehan has propelled UMass Lowell forward by every important measure of higher education. The institution has achieved record growth in enrollment, student retention, research and scholarship funding. The campus also has undergone a stunning physical transformation with new buildings, upgraded academic and research facilities, and enhanced student residence and activity spaces. 

While strongly focusing on academics and student success, Marty Meehan has made access, affordability and diversity a keystone of his vision to raise UMass Lowell’s image and impact on the region.

Marty Meehan has sought innovative and entrepreneurial means to obtain resources. Understanding that philanthropic support is vital to sustain the progress that has been made, the chancellor has overseen the largest fundraising years in the history of the institution resulting in an 84 percent increase in fundraising, with over $65 million raised, and culminating with this year’s record total of $17.2 million.


Under Marty Meehan’s leadership, UMass Lowell’s campus has undergone a stunning physical transformation. In 2009, the University purchased an underused downtown hotel and converted it into the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, providing housing for 500 students as well as conference space and lodging for the community.

In 2010, the University acquired the 6,500-seat Tsongas Arena (now the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell) and also assumed management of the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse, home to University, local and community rowing programs.

Two new academic buildings—the first in 35 years—have been constructed. The Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center on North Campus opened in October 2012 as the hub of industry partnerships and new manufacturing technologies. The Health and Social Science Building on South Campus will house classrooms and laboratories and opens in Spring 2013.

University Suites, a 472-bed residence hall, is under construction and will open in the fall of 2013, along with another new residence hall adjacent to South Campus.

Academic Achiever

External validation proves that the campus is on the right track. UMass Lowell was rated a top-tier national university by U.S. News and World Report for the first time two years ago. In 2012, the campus advanced in the ranking of national universities to 170 out of 270 schools, which is a 13 spot gain in two years, and is rated among the top 100 public universities nationwide. says UMass Lowell graduates earn the highest mid-career median salary among public institutions in New England for two of the last three years.

UMass Lowell has been named for three years in a row, the last two “with distinction,” to President’s Obama’s Honor Roll for community service and community engagement, due to the many service learning and partnership initiatives.

Marty Meehan was honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) at the annual District I program in early 2012 when he received the Chief Executive Leadership Award, established to honor institutional leaders for outstanding contributions to their campus communities, for efforts promoting public understanding of education and for support of advancement at their campuses.

Meehan was named by Irish Voice Magazine in 2009 and 2012 as one of the top 100 Irish Americans in positions of leadership in higher education in the United States.

Congressional Reformer

Marty Meehan represented the fifth congressional district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007. He served on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees. Widely respected as a reformer, he established a national reputation for his legislative leadership in transforming campaign finance laws and protecting people against the health risks in tobacco use.

Meehan graduated cum laude from UMass Lowell in 1978 with a degree in education and political science. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University in 1981 and a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1986. He holds honorary degrees from Suffolk University, Green Mountain College in Vermont and Shenkar College of Engineering & Design in Israel. He is on the board of directors at Lowell Cooperative Bank and Natixis as well as the board of governors at Lowell General Hospital.

Previously, he served on the board of directors of Qteros (formerly SunEthanol) and D'Youville Foundation and was a member of the board of trustees of Suffolk University.

Meehan is married to Ellen T. Murphy, a health-care consultant and former vice president at Lawrence General Hospital. They are the parents of Robert Francis and Daniel Marty Meehan.

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