Scott, David K.

Chancellor, UMass Amherst: 1993-2001

scott_david7.jpgA nuclear scientist, Scott served as Chancellor of the Amherst campus for eight years, from 1993 until 2001.

Under Scott, the campus made many important advances, including the successful completion of the first comprehensive capital campaign, attention to neglected infrastructure, the installation of network wiring across the campus, the development of a new communications and marketing strategy, and the formation of Commonwealth College as well as a campus-wide initiative on Community, Diversity, and Social Justice.

Scott championed the vision of an integrative University in which transdisciplinary research and holistic learning communities would overcome the fragmentation of knowledge and support the development of wiser human beings to create a better world. His seminal planning documents, Strategic Thinking and Strategic Action, developed core principles for fostering a more collaborative, spiritual, and caring institution. He promoted the idea of a land grant research university, combining two important streams in the evolution of American higher education. He also promoted the outreach mission of the university and placed renewed emphasis on international linkages.

David K. Scott was born on the northernmost of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. The setting exposed him at an early age to the forces of nature which led to his interest in physics and also required him to leave home at age eleven to attend boarding school, a harsh necessity in those days if a university career was desired. The commitment of his family and his community to his own education has been a shaping force in Scott's concern for the “democractization of privilege.”

Before coming to Amherst, Scott served as Provost at Michigan State University. His administrative career was preceded by a distinguished research career in nuclear physics, highlighted by work at leading cyclotron laboratories.


  • Cary, H. (1962). The University of Massachusetts: A History of 100 Years. Amherst: University of Massachusetts.
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