Chancellor, UMass Amherst: 1970-1971
Oswald Tippo became the first Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, following the re-organization of the university system administration in 1970. As a result of the re-organization, the President of the university system became responsible for policy and the operation of the three campuses, while the Chancellor was responsible for the Amherst campus.
A UMass graduate, Tippo was a noted botanist. He wrote a college botany textbook and once served as the president of the Botanical Society of America. After working as provost at the University of Colorado, Tippo returned to Amherst to serve as provost here, from 1964 to 1970. During his tenure as provost, several academic innovations emerged, including a program in Asian studies, classes in Afro-American studies, a new bachelor’s degree with individual concentration, and the continuing education program. The College of Arts and Sciences was split into three pieces, and the campus as a whole was re-organized into five areas.
After retiring from campus administration in 1971, Tippo was named Commonwealth Professor of Biology and taught on campus until 1982. Tippo was also known as an advocate for the campus library. The library currently honors him with the Oswald Tippo Library Courtyard and Sculpture Garden.