Caret, Robert L.
President Caret, a native New Englander, assumes the presidency of the University of Massachusetts after completing highly successful presidencies at San Jose State University and Towson University. President Caret presided over periods of significant growth at both universities and gained nationally acclaim for eliminating race-based graduation disparities at Towson.
From 2003 to 2011, President Caret was president of Towson University where he also served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his more than 25-year tenure at the university. Between 1995 and 2003, he left Towson to assume the presidency of San Jose State University. Dr. Caret is credited with helping to reinvigorate both the Towson and San Jose State University campuses, and he championed a joint city/university effort to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose.
As president of Towson University, President Caret created partnerships with regional business and non-profit and civic organizations, raised student graduation rates, and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign. Under his leadership, the six-year graduation rate for all Towson students rose from 60 percent in 2003 to 75 percent in 2010. More impressively, the six-year graduation rate for African-American students rose from 48 percent in 2003 to 76 percent in 2010. He oversaw the construction of numerous academic and student life facilities, as well as roads, parking, utilities and infrastructure to support these buildings. In addition, during his tenure, the university's total enrollment increased from 17,188 in fall 2003 to 21,840 in fall 2010.
Active in regional and national organizations and boards, President Caret currently serves on the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Board, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center Board, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Board, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Board, the New England Council Board, and is a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the Executive Steering Committee of the AASCU Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI). He also is a member of the Board of Directors for 1st Mariner Bancorp and the Board of Advisors for Evergreen Capital LLC.
Previously, he served on the NCAA Presidential Task Force on the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics and served on their Presidential Advisory Group and the Football Academic Working Group. He has also served on the American Flag Foundation Board of Directors the Board, the College Board Foundation, the Board of Directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the Maryland Governor's Workforce Investment Board, and the Maryland P-20 Leadership Council. He was inducted into the Baltimore County Chamber Business Hall of Fame in 2006 and was awarded the Towson University Hillel Gesher Award in 2010. He was also awarded the Metropolitan Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award in 1999.
President Caret has authored many articles in business and professional publications in the fields of chemistry, chemical education and higher education. He co-authored four textbooks in the fields of organic chemistry and allied health chemistry. The Maryland Chapter of the American Chemical Society recognized President Caret's achievements by honoring him with the George L. Braude Award in 2005.
President Caret received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and mathematics from Suffolk University in 1969. His honorary degrees include a Doctor of Humane Letters from San Jose State University (2004) and National Hispanic University (1997) and a Doctor of Science degree from Suffolk University (1996). He and his wife Elizabeth have four children and reside in Boston.
The University of Massachusetts is the largest university in New England, with an enrollment of more than 68,000 students and graduating more than 13,000 students a year. UMass research expenditures exceed $500 million and the University has become a national leader in generating licensing income. UMass has spent $2 billion on campus construction and renovation over the past decade and its economic impact on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is estimated at nearly $5 billion a year.