Campus Leadership

Marty Meehan, Academic Affairs, Political Science

Marty Meehan, Academic Affairs, Political Science

Chancellor, Professor
Allen House


American Politics, The Congress, Electoral Politics

Educational Background

Juris Doctorate, Suffolk University Law School, 1986 
Master of Public Administration, Suffolk University, 1981 
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Political Science, cum laude, University of Lowell (now UMass Lowell), 1978 


Marty Meehan is the second chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the 14th leader of the institution, founded in the 1890s as the Lowell Normal and Lowell Textile schools.


Since assuming the chancellorship on July 1, 2007, Meehan has propelled UMass Lowell forward by every important measure of higher education: academics, research, fundraising, globalization, recruitment, retention, diversity, campus life, engagement with the community, and the condition and range of the facilities.  He also has enhanced the image of the campus and sharpened its vision for the future.

Meehan, who graduated cum laude from UMass Lowell in 1978 with a degree in education and political science, has helped advance his alma mater to new levels of excellence.


“Higher education is the foundation of this country” says Meehan. “What we do now, today, at this university, will decide whether we can retain educated, talented and motivated entrepreneurs, engineers, managers, teachers, artists, health professionals and civic leaders.


“I feel passionately about the University of Massachusetts Lowell.   It gave me the basis to do whatever I’ve been able to do with my life,” Meehan adds.


Commenting on the unanimous decision by the University of Massachusetts Trustees to appoint Meehan as chancellor, President Jack Wilson said, “Marty Meehan is a leader, an innovator, and has a demonstrated passion for higher education in general and UMass Lowell in particular.”


Meehan and his leadership team have established bold initiatives that have transformed the campus across all three mission points of teaching, research and community engagement.  Student enrollment, retention and diversity have all increased in the past three years, as has the number of students living on campus.  Research dollars and fundraising also have experienced growth, along with new academic programs, including a focus on global research and educational partnerships.


The campus has undergone a spectacular physical transformation since Meehan became chancellor. In 2009, the University purchased the Doubletree Hotel, located in downtown Lowell, and converted it into the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center.  The facility offers housing for approximately 400 upper-class students, creating a positive economic impact for downtown businesses, while also providing conference and event space, and lodging for the community.

Early in 2010, the University acquired the 6,500-seat Tsongas Arena (now the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell) and surrounding grounds and also has taken over management of the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse, home to University, local and community rowing programs.


Two new academic buildings – the first in 35 years -- are in the works.  The Emerging Technology and Innovation Center is breaking ground in June 2010 and will contain interdisciplinary research labs.  Construction of another building, to house classrooms and laboratories on south campus, began in the Fall of 2010. 

Meehan represented the Fifth Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2007. He served on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees. Widely respected as a reformer, he established a national reputation for his legislative leadership in reforming campaign finance laws and protecting people against the health risks in tobacco use.


In addition to his UMass Lowell undergraduate degree, Meehan received a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University in 1981 and a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1986. He holds honorary degrees from Suffolk and Green Mountain College in Vermont. Meehan was an adjunct faculty member in political science at UMass Lowell in the late 1980s.


Meehan served as Massachusetts deputy secretary of state for securities and corporations from 1986 to 1990. In the early 1990s, Meehan was the first assistant district attorney of Middlesex County.


He is on the board of directors at Lowell Cooperative Bank, Qteros, Inc. and the D'Youville Foundation.


Meehan is married to Ellen T. Murphy, a health-care consultant and former vice president at Lawrence General Hospital. They are the parents of Robert Francis and Daniel Martin Meehan.