Chancellor's Biography

Jacquie Moloney – a national leader in innovation in higher education – was appointed chancellor of UMass Lowell on Aug. 3, 2015. She is the third chancellor of UMass Lowell.

Jacquie Moloney is the first woman to serve as chancellor of UMass Lowell in the 121-year history of the institution.

Moloney had been executive vice chancellor since 2007, selected by former chancellor Marty Meehan to lead his executive team. Meehan and Moloney presided over a period of unprecedented growth and transformation at the university.

UMass Lowell has realized astonishing gains as a result of a strategic-planning process led by Moloney that engaged more than 200 faculty, staff and students to create “UMass Lowell 2020: A Strategic Plan for the Next Decade.” The bold strategy to enhance nearly every aspect of the campus, from business practices and the physical plant to student life and alumni relations, has been a resounding success. Guided by the plan, the university has achieved record gains in student enrollment, retention, selectivity and diversity. Faculty hiring, research expenditures, fundraising and economic development activities have all grown to unprecedented levels. The addition of 10 buildings has transformed the campus. As a result of the university’s advancement in nearly every important metric in higher education, UMass Lowell is the second-fastest-rising school on U.S. News & World Report’s national universities list over the last four years.

Shortly after being appointed executive vice chancellor, Moloney oversaw a comprehensive restructuring of the organization, making it more student-focused and entrepreneurial. Since 2007, UMass Lowell has increased operating revenues by 103 percent, eliminated a structural budget deficit, generated $80 million in reserves and implemented a sustainable financial plan. Moloney, the top executive officer after the chancellor, personally oversees divisions that comprise one-third of the $378 million operating budget, including key revenue-generating functions such as the Division of Student Affairs and the Division of Online and Continuing Education. 

Moloney also leads the university’s engagement in economic development and entrepreneurship activities. She created UMass Lowell’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, which has brought in more than $10 million in external funding and created partnerships with numerous public and private organizations, including the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. She established the DifferenceMaker Program, which engages more than 6,000 students annually in creative problem-solving through entrepreneurship. She co-chairs the annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

A visionary leader in online education, Moloney is passionate about making learning accessible to all. Nearly 20 years ago, as dean, she was the architect of UMass Lowell’s forerunning online education program. UMass Lowell was one of the first “brick and mortar” institutions in the region, if not the nation, to offer online education. What started with a handful of courses has grown to 42 degree and certificate programs, more than 20,000 enrollments annually and more than $40 million in annual revenue. UMass Lowell’s online education program has captured international honors for excellence in teaching, education and academic programs.

Moloney is a pioneer and innovator in higher education who has advanced how UMass Lowell and, through work on behalf of organizations such as the Sloan Foundation, institutions across the country deliver coursework and support services to students in order to enrich their academic and extracurricular experience, both inside and outside the classroom. As a professor of curriculum and instruction in the university’s Graduate School of Education, her research has included the development of online programs, the use of technology in the classroom, higher-education organization and cross-disciplinary curriculum reform. She is an active scholar who has published extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals and is a sought-after keynote speaker at national conferences. As a principal investigator, she has secured more than $850,000 in foundation grants to fund innovation in faculty and curriculum development. 

Moloney has provided more than 30 years of service to UMass Lowell, including 13 years as dean of the Division of Online and Continuing Education. Her other posts have included founding director of UMass Lowell’s Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services, which in 2014 marked its 20th year of delivering tutoring, workshops on study skills and other topics, and a variety of the student-support services. She also developed and managed the university’s Talent Search and College Preparatory Program for disadvantaged high school students.

In 2010, the Sloan Consortium (now the Online Learning Consortium) named Moloney to the inaugural class of Sloan-C Fellows for her distinguished service and leadership in the field of online education. In 2009, Sloan-C recognized her with the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, the organization’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. Moloney is also the recipient of several other honors including Girls Inc. of Lowell’s Woman of the Year, selection to the Lowell Sun’s inaugural Salute To Women and the House of Hope Volunteer Award.

Moloney began her career as a social worker in Lowell, first with the Lowell Association for Retarded Citizens and then as the director of the Indochinese Refugees Foundation. She remains active in the community as a member of the Board of Directors of Lowell General Hospital, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Enterprise Bank and the American Textile Museum. She previously served on the boards of the House of Hope, Saints Memorial Medical Center, Girls Inc. and the Merrimack Valley Venture Fund.

Moloney is a “double River Hawk,” a term given to those with more than one degree from UMass Lowell. She earned her bachelor’s in sociology in 1975 and her doctorate from the Graduate School of Education in 1992. She also holds a master of arts in social psychology from Goddard College. One of eight children, she was the first person in her family to attend college.

As both a UMass Lowell alumna and senior executive, Moloney has been intimately involved in the elevation of fundraising to a critical priority for the purposes of maintaining affordability and access. Since 2007, the university has secured more than $123 million in gifts and pledges, increased the endowment from $34 million to $78 million and grown endowment funds from 243 to 411. Moloney has led by example in her fundraising activities. In 2014, at the grand opening of University Crossing, Chancellor Meehan announced that the $95 million student engagement center’s primary gathering space had been named Jacqueline and Edward Moloney Hall in recognition of the couple’s status among the university’s largest supporters.

See Moloney's Curriculum Vitae (pdf)