Chancellor, UMass Amherst: 1979-1982
Henry Koffler served as Chancellor from 1979 to 1982. Under his leadership, the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities was started. He is also credited with establishing new departments in the sciences.
In 1982, Koffler initiated the “Year Toward Civility” in order to improve respect and tolerance on campus. That effort was preceded by the formation in 1980 of the Chancellor’s Commission on Civility in Human Relations.
Koffler was born in Vienna, Austria. He earned his doctorate in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and taught at Purdue University. He served as chief academic officer at the University of Minnesota before coming to Amherst as Chancellor.
During his career, he was awarded honorary degrees from Purdue University, the University of Arizona, and Amherst College.