Robert E. Johnson, Chancellor, UMass Dartmouth (Effective July 1, 2017)

Dr. Robert E. Johnson was appointed chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on March 7, 2017. He began his leadership of the university on July 1, 2017. In announcing Dr. Johnson’s appointment, University of Massachusetts President Marty Meehan described him as an “accomplished, visionary leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and a proven commitment to student success.”

Dr. Johnson, who previously served seven years as president of Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts, has dedicated a quarter century of his life to building higher education opportunity for people. A frequent presenter and commentator on issues related to the future of work, Dr. Johnson believes college graduates must be professionally and intellectually agile to compete in a world where career mobility is the norm and individuals must continuously build their personal value. He stresses that the three pillars of global citizenship—academic excellence, social responsibility, and creative expression – are prerequisites for success in a complex and hyper-connected world. 

Dr. Johnson has served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, vice chair of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and chair of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce prior. At Becker College, Dr. Johnson led the evolution of the college into an adaptive, nimble, and entrepreneurial institution that is a model for colleges and universities across the United States. Prior to becoming Becker College’s president, Dr. Johnson served as senior vice president of Sinclair Community College, vice president of enrollment management at the University of Dayton, vice provost at Oakland University and executive director of enrollment management at Central State University.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Johnson holds a PhD in higher education administration from Touro University International, a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse College.

UMass Dartmouth is a Tier 1 national research university located on 710 acres of the scenic SouthCoast of Massachusetts. With nearly 9,000 students in undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs, and a 400-member faculty that annually produces $27 million in research activity. The university is the only Massachusetts research university located south of Boston and generates nearly $500 million of economic activity in the region. UMass Dartmouth is home to the Commonwealth’s only public law school and is recognized as a national Top 20 university for civic engagement, annually contributing more than 240,000 hours of community service valued at more than $6 million. The university has 48,000 alumni, three quarters living in Massachusetts and half living in southeastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.

He is married to Michelle Jones-Johnson. They have two children, Jasmine and Alex.