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Dr. Robert E. Johnson was appointed chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on March 7, 2017 and began his leadership of the 9,000-student research university on July 1, 2017. He had previously served as president of Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts for six years. At Becker, Dr. Johnson led the evolution of the college into an adaptive, nimble, and entrepreneurial institution that is a model for colleges and universities across the United States.
With an unyielding belief that higher education is a public good, Dr. Johnson has dedicated a quarter century of his life to building higher education opportunity for people. He consistently stresses in words and deeds that the three pillars of global citizenship—academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression – are prerequisites for success in a complex and hyper-connected world.
A frequent presenter and commentator on issues related to "the future of work," Dr. Johnson holds a strong conviction that college graduates must be professionally and intellectually agile to compete in a world where career mobility is the norm and individuals must continuously build their personal value.
A builder and collaborator, Dr. Johnson has served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, vice chair of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and chair of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce prior.
Prior to becoming Becker College’s president, Dr. Johnson served as senior vice president of Sinclair Community College, vice president of enrollment management at the University of Dayton, vice provost at Oakland University and executive director of enrollment management at Central State University.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Johnson holds a PhD in higher education administration from Touro University International, a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse College.
In announcing Dr. Johnson’s appointment, University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan described him as an "accomplished, visionary leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven commitment to student success."
Robert Manning, Chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, called Dr. Johnson a "world-class leader who will be committed to achieving UMass Dartmouth’s strategic goals and ushering this vibrant university into a new era of success and achievement."