Robert L. Caret joined the University System of Maryland (USM) as its fourth chancellor on July 1, 2015. No stranger to Maryland, Caret is a former president of Towson University, a USM institution.
During his 20 years of public higher education leadership, Caret has earned respect for his successful work in several areas, including helping to ensure college affordability, academic excellence, and the efficient use of resources. In addition, he is credited with emphasizing university partnerships to enhance students' experiences and to impact regional progress in economic and workforce development and other areas.
Before joining USM as chancellor, Caret was president of the University of Massachusetts System (UMass) from 2011 until 2015. Throughout his UMass tenure, he has emphasized efficiency, cost-saving initiatives, and productive working relationships with Massachusetts government and business leaders. His successful pursuit of a 50-50 funding formula for UMass resulted in the state and students contributing equally to the university's general education program and a 22 percent increase in the base budget for two years. He also secured additional state funding, allowing UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.
Prior to joining UMass, Caret was president of Towson University (TU) from 2003 to 2011, where he also served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his more than 25-year tenure there. At Towson, he created partnerships with regional business, non-profit and civic organizations; raised student graduation rates; and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign to support campus infrastructure improvements. He oversaw an increase in the university's online courses and expanded the availability of TU courses at regional higher education centers. He was instrumental in establishing Towson University in Northeastern Maryland , which offers transfer students the flexibility to pursue a four-year degree after completing an associate's degree at a community college.
From 1995 to 2003, Caret served as president of San Jose State University (SJSU), part of the California State University System. He is credited with bringing a vision for SJSU as the metropolitan university of Silicon Valley.
Active in the national higher education community, Caret serves on the National Association of System Heads, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Business-Higher Education Forum boards. He also is a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable.
Caret also serves on a number of boards in Maryland, including the Greater Baltimore Committee, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, University of Maryland Medical System, College Savings Plans of Maryland, World Trade Center Institute, Maryland Council on Economic Education, and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Additionally, he serves on The Center Club Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.
Caret holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Suffolk University in Boston.
Learn about Caret's goal of working with internal and external partners to advance the University System of Maryland's role as a major educational, research, and economic engine of the state.