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Jo Ann M. Gora, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Old Dominion University since 1992, has accepted a position as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, effective Aug. 1.

"Jo Ann Gora is a creative, imaginative, dynamic leader, and we are very pleased to welcome her to the University of Massachusetts family," UMass-Boston President William M. Bulger said. "Dr. Gora is a passionate advocate for public higher education and brings with her a proven record of accomplishment. She is the right person at the right time for this campus."

President Bulger added: "Dr. Gora is a builder and a leader. She has faced challenges, fashioned responses and enjoyed impressive success."

Old Dominion President James V. Koch commended Umass-Boston on its choice. "Dr. Gora is exceptionally well qualified for the Chancellorship at the University of Massachusetts at Boston," he said. "She is well-versed on metropolitan institutions and, as Acting President here, has led one very capably. She is going to be an outstanding leader."

Gora said she was pleased to be assuming the helm of the 13,346-student UMass-Boston campus, and she has clear goals for the school.

"I come to the University of Massachusetts-Boston with a great sense of excitement and purpose. UMass-Boston is poised to become a true 21st century university: focused on the community, fostering economic development, contributing to policy formation and providing opportunities for lifelong learning. I look forward to working with the campus community in this effort and am confident that we can help the campus fulfill its boundless promise," she said at an April 9 Umass-Boston news conference.

A graduate of Vassar College and Rutgers University, Gora has compiled a distinguished record during her years at Old Dominion, and before that at Fairleigh Dickinson University. At Old Dominion, she was the first woman to serve as provost, and in 1995 she became acting president while President Koch was on sabbatical for a semester.

Her accomplishments at Old Dominion include:

· Overseeing the development of an honors college that produced the university's first Rhodes and Truman scholars.

· Revising the university's general education requirements, placing an emphasis on science and technology and computer literacy, as well as oral and written communications skills.

· Designing a program that guaranteed internship placements to all undergraduates and included four years of career counseling.

· Expanding the university's distance education program from two telecourses in 1992 to 30 full degree programs at present.

· Creating programs that increased the university's student retention rate.

· Crafting two five-year strategic plans.

· Fostering the development of five enterprise centers, which helped spur economic growth in the region.

According to Diane Bissonnette Moes, a University of Massachusetts trustee who chaired the search committee, Gora was selected from more than 90 academic leaders who were nominated for the position.

"Jo Ann Gora impressed the search committee in so many ways," Moes said. "Her intellect, her experience, her insight, her energy and commitment convinced us that she could lead the campus to new heights."

She is the author of two books -- "The New Female Criminal: Empirical Reality or Social Myth" and "Emergency Squad Volunteers: Professionalism in Unpaid Work," the latter co-authored with Gloria Nemerowicz. She has published numerous articles in the fields of criminology, medical sociology and organizational behavior.

Gora was a Harvard University Institute for Educational Management fellow in 1989, received an American Council on Education fellowship in 1981-82, and won an Excellence in Teaching award at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1979.

Gora's appointment is expected to be confirmed May 2 by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees.

President Koch, who is stepping down as president in June, outlined the procedure for replacing Gora at Old Dominion. "President-elect Roseann Runte will appoint the individual who will serve as Acting Provost. Dr. Runte has been discussing this possibility with a variety of individuals. An appointment likely will be recommended to the Board of Visitors at its June meeting."

This article was posted on: April 9, 2001

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.