Jack M. Wilson, Ph.D. , President-Emeritus, The University of Massachusetts, and Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, & Innovation    

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Career Summary 
Major Accomplishments  
By The Numbers 
Awards & Honors 
Recent Presentations 
Board memberships 
University Growth

Videos online

President-Emeritus, The University of Massachusetts, and Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, & Innovation
President, The University of Massachusetts system, The 25th President from September 2, 2003 to June 30, 2011.
                 <UMass Announcement> <Press Announcement>  ,<Boston Globe>, <Mass High Tech Journal>
President, (interim) The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate 2011-2012. 
                Prior to that he served on the Board of the EMK Institute.

  • Former Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Served as Department Chair, Research Center Director, Dean, Vice President, and Provost (two research universities)

  • Entrepreneur in the private sector:  founded the ILinc Corporation & served as President & Chairman until he sold it in 2000. 

  • Founding Chair of the Mass Green High Performance Computing Center  (MGHPCC)  (History)2009-2011

  • Fellow of  the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the Online Learning Consortium (formerly the Sloan Foundation Consortium) and has received many awards for his work in technology in education, higher education policy, and technology driven economic development.

  • Received awards from the FBI for Exceptional Service in the Public Interest and the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his work with the military education program.     

    Memoirs -In preparation for publishing -384 pages tentative length 
    [Memoirs -Table of Contents]

  • Profile done by Czech Magazine after my speaking tour of the Czech and Slovak Republics  [Profile]

  • Video done for the 10th Anniversary of the National Commission for Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity,
    Past Chair and Founding Member   [VIDEO]

  • Talk at the Gamma Nu Eta National Honorary Society for Information Technology Meeting at RPI - April 19, 2017
    Growing Up With the Faculty of Information Technology- Challenges: Then and Now.] 

  • Talks in Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia on November 10-15, 2016 
                    [Entrepreneurship: Promoting Government-Industry-University Partnerships ]

  • Tribute to Keith Motley as he concludes his service as Chancellor at UMass Boston [Speech Text]


  • APS Fellow

  • AAPT Fellow

  • OLC Fellow

  • Theodore Hesburgh

  • Pew Prize

  • Boeing Prize

  • FBI Exceptional Service

  • Mass. All-Star

  • Mass. Tech. Leadership Council Workforce Leader of the Year

  • U.S. Army Disting. Civilian Service

  • Others & details below



Principles of Innovation
& Entrepreneurship
Starting a New Venture Entrepreneurship
Case List


Key External Boards:

  • UMass Memorial Medical Center.  UMass Memorial Health Care system with five hospitals serving most of central Massachusetts.

  • Governing Board of the Innovation Institute of the Mass Tech Collaborative and Chairs the Investment Advisory Committee, which is charged with advising on the distribution of $50 million of capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to joint academic industry high technology projects to enhance the formation of economic development clusters.

  • Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) board. -Industry Academic Collaboration on cyber security.

  • Innovation Partnership Network -  Studying the characteristics of successful industry-academic-government partnerships under the auspices of MassInsight.

  • River Hawk New Venture Investment Advisory Board- Chair 2014-present -early stage investments in technology spin-offs related to UMass Lowell and the Mass Medical Device Development Center

  • Privo Technologies -Advisory Board -Entrepreneurial venture on nano-engineered drug delivery.

  • Chair of the Department of Education's FIPSE National Advisory Board -Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education 2010-2014

Boston Business Journal -MassHighTech: Jack Wilson on Leaving a Legacy


Dr. Wilson established the Jack M. Wilson Presidential Scholarship Fund with a gift of an Insurance Policy worth $1,775,000 -funded with performance bonuses that he was to have received under his contracts over the years.  To that was added $230,000 from a dinner honoring his retirement as President and another $120,000 raised during his inauguration.  The total value of the Scholarship fund at his retirement as President in July of 2011 was over $2.1 million.  [Application]

     -Boston Business Journal:  UMass Prez Wilson chips in for $2.1M scholarship fund in his own name

     -Mass Live:                            UMass President Helps Establish Scholarship

     -University of Massachusetts:  News Release June 2, 2011.           Scholarship Agreement Text    Short Description


He has also created the Jack M. Wilson Endowed Presidential Entrepreneurship Award Fund to support the study of Entrepreneurship at UMass Lowell.  He continues to add to the funding of this endowment each year.   His most recent pledge was for $275,000.   "Chancellor Announces New Campaign Gifts"



Prior to becoming President, he served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs of The University of Massachusetts system and CEO of UMassOnline.   Formerly, Dr Wilson was the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he had also served as a Dean and interim Provost. Prior to that he served as the head of a scientific society (AAPT) in Washington, DC and as a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland.


Wilson has authored over 55 scholarly articles, wrote or edited five books, and given over 200 invited lectures. He has enjoyed over $23 million in funding for his research and scholarly activities.  Dr. Wilson is nationally and internationally known for his leadership in the reform of higher education programs. He won several national awards for his creation of the Studio Classroom and was featured in many national publications like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, the US News and World Report and others.   He has also been a successful entrepreneur, as he founded a software company, ILinc, and took it through several rounds of venture capital and two mergers into a public company on the NASDAQ exchange.  After several acquisitions and divestitures, the company is now owned by Broadsoft, but still operates under the original name of ILinc at the original web address of ILINC.com.


Career Summary:

  • President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of
       Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Innovation 2011-

  • President (interim) Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate  2011-2012

  • President, Univ. of Massachusetts  2003-2011 He became interim President on September 1, 2003 and then was selected as the 25th President on March 24, 2004.

  • Founding Chair of the Mass Green High Performance Computing Center  2009-2011.

  • CEO, UMassOnline and Vice President, Univ. of Massachusetts  2001-2003

  • 2003 J Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology and Management as well as other titles (Professor, Dean, interim Provost, Research Center Director, etc.) at
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute  1990-2001.

  • Chairman of the Board of the ILINC Corporation 1993-2000.  President 1993-95, One of three founders. - Eventually a $500 million software company.

  • Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers  1982-1990

  • Professor of Physics, University of Maryland 1984-1990

  • Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Physics Department Chair at Sam Houston State University 1972-82


 Major Accomplishments at UMass


While he is most proud of the achievements that the University has made in teaching, research, and service -setting records in enrollment, student quality, applications, financial aid, endowment, research volume, and commercialization of intellectual property from research - he is particularly proud that he was able to launch a number of new initiatives at the University during his eight year term including:

  • The University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth- The first public law school in Massachusetts history.

  • The University of Massachusetts Club with over 1000 members at 225 Franklin St, Boston-UMassClub

  • The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC)
    -a joint venture with MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern, EMC, and CISCO.

  • The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Study of the Senate (EMKInst)

  • The President's Science and Technology Fund (PS&T)
    -that generated a 30 to 1 ROI in the first year and has continued to grow research to over $536 million in 2010.

  • Three NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC) and an NSF Math Science Partnership (MSP)

  • The President's Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property (CVIP) Technologies Fund
    - stimulating commercialization of University Research and moving us into the top ten in 2009.

  • The President's Creative Economy Fund (CEF)

  • Conducted a $1.6 Billion Capital Building Program and planned $2.9 B more.
    -includes several new dorms, an award winning co-generation power plant, new research buildings and new classroom buildings.

Major Accomplishments at RPI

  • Founded the Harlan Andersen Center for Innovation in Undergraduate Education

  • Created the award winning interactive high tech classrooms -The Studio Classrooms.

  • Won the The Theodore Hesburgh Award  -1995

  • Won the The Pew Charitable Trust Prize  -1996

  • Launched a major effort in "Continuous Education."

  • With grants from NSF, FIPSE, IBM, AT&T and others he created the first network based full video, audio, chat, screen sharing, and interactive learning system.

  • He spun that research into a company, ILinc, and then took it through three rounds of venture capital into a public company listed on the NASDAQ exchange as Mentergy which had a market value of about $500 million in March 2000 after he sold it.

  • Served as the J. Erik Jonsson '22 Distinguished Professor of Physics, Engineering Science, Information Technology, and Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Served at various times as Dean of the Faculty, Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of the Undergraduate School, and Dean of Continuing Education.

  • Served as interim Provost for two years during the Presidential Transition.


Recent Presentations:

Awards and Honors:

  • Sloan Consortium -2013: The Frank Mayadas Leadership Award, http://sloanconsortium.org/sloan-c-awards/2013

  • The Theodore Hesburgh Award  -1995

  • The Boeing Award  -1995

  • The Pew Charitable Trust Prize  -1996

  • Army -2001: Outstanding Civilian Service Medal by the United States Army for service to the Army Education program.

  • A Fellow of American Physical Society -named in 1998,

  • Named a Fellow of the National Online Consortium as covered in Bloomberg News.  August 4, 2015 The OLC Press release is here.

  • National officer of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and the American Assn. of Physics Teachers (AAPT). 

  • Distinguished Service Citation  -1995, Am. Association of Physics Teachers

  • National Academy of Science and National Research Council study committees and task forces: service as either a member or chair of several committees

  • ECS: He was appointed in 2005, by Governor Mitt Romney, as a Massachusetts Commissioner to the Education Commission of the States and re-appointed by Governor Deval Patrick.

  • FBI -2011 Exceptional Service in the Public Interest

  • Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council: Workforce Leader of the Year -2010

  • Massachusetts All Star 2005: Mass High Tech Magazine  2005

  • Good Scout Award 2010 by the Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Nov. 2010

  • Massachusetts Network Communication Council  2005: "Long term contributions to the industry"


Videos Online:

UMass Medical School  Tribute 2011

Jack Wilson on Entrepreneurship in Mass High Tech Magazine

"The Future I Imagined"

NECN: On the Times of London Rankings  short teaser

NECN: On the Times of London and UMass Reputation

NECN:  UMass Law

WGBH:  On Leaving UMass and becoming interim President of the Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

"On Stewardship"  at the 2010 UMass Lowell Commencement

Boston Venture Center Opening with Keith Motley

NECN:  Globe Reports: "I have accomplished what I set out to do."

NECN:  UMass and Its Role in the Economy

NECN: Public Universities and the Recession, Edward M Kennedy Institute

NECN:  Stimulus Funding Allows Fee Rebate

"Getting Into and Paying for College" hosted by WBZ

"What is Stem Education" at UMass Lowell

Edward M Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate Groundbreaking

Topping Off the Albert Sherman Center at UMass Medical School

The University of Massachusetts: Truly World Class


By The Numbers:     Changes Over his Eight Year Term as President

Student Enrollment: Up 18% 
Fall 2003: 57,853 >> Fall 2010: 68,315 (+18 percent))

Degrees Conferred: Up 29%
Academic Year 2002-2003: 10,701 >> Academic Year 2009-2010: 13,803 (+29 percent)

UMass Spending On Financial Aid:  Up 267%
FY 2003: $36 million >> FY 2011: $131.5 million (+267 percent)
<Boston Herald><UMass>

Research Funding: Up 69%
FY 2003: $320 million >> FY 2010: $541 million (+69 percent)
<Boston Globe><UMass><BostonBusJrnl><MassHighTech>

Intellectual Property Income: Up 105%
FY 2003: $20 million >> FY 2010: $41 million (+105 percent)
<UMass> <MassHighTech>

Endowment:  Up 247%
June 30, 2003: $146 million >> December 31, 2010: $507 million (+247 percent)

Total University Budget:  Up 87%
FY 2003: $1.5 billion >> FY 2011: $2.8 billion (+87 percent)

UMassOnline Revenue:  Up 1766%
Fiscal Year 2001 $3 million >>  FY 2010: $56 million
Jack Wilson appointed CEO of UMOL in 2001

UMassOnline Enrollment:  Up 814%
Fiscal Year 2001: 5,009 course enrollments  >> FY 2010: 45,815 course enrollments

SAT/GPA (UMass Amherst): Up 2.6% and 10% respectively
Fall 2003: 1,137; 3.28 >>  Fall 2010: 1167; 3.61   (SAT +2.6 percent; GPA +10 percent)

 Overall Fundraising:  Original Graph appeared in Boston Globe article

University Growth
During Dr. Wilson's term, the University grew in many ways.  

  • we obtained four of the major National Science Foundation ERC or MSP programs (our first),

  • fee increases have been held to under the cost of living in every year except one,

  • the University has made great strides in hiring new faculty members. 

  • in 2006, Craig Mello, a Professor at the UMass Medical School won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, and thereby demonstrated just how outstanding the faculty and research are at the University. 

  • Extensive global programs have been launched with China, Germany, South Africa, India, Portuguese speaking countries, and many others.

  • the University contributed over $4.8 billion to the Massachusetts economy in Fiscal Year 2010 <UMass><BostonBusJrnl>

  • provided a return on investment of more than $11 for every $1 in state money that UMass received


    On March 1, 2009, Dr. Wilson announced that he intended to conclude his Presidency on June 30, 2011.  By giving nearly a year and a half notice to the University, he felt that there would be sufficient time to do a national search for his successor.  <Press Announcement>  ,<Boston Globe>, <Mass High Tech Journal>


    Dr. Wilson took office following two years of serious state budget cuts that had reduced the state appropriation by approximately $150 million, and at a time when the relationships to the Governor and Legislature were in need of attention.  In the face of these serious challenges, the University embarked upon a program to close the budget gap, rebuild our finances, increase financial aid to students, grow research, build endowment,  increase our support from the business community, and enhance our global opportunities for students and faculty.  In order to emphasize the critical role that the University plays in the Commonwealth, he would often assert that:

    "The path to economic and social development in Massachusetts goes through the University of Massachusetts."


    The economic and social development of the Commonwealth indeed does depend upon the University's teaching, research, and service.  With over 60,000 student on five campuses, 45,000 enrollments in UMassOnline, and over 13,000 students graduated into the workforce each year, the University of Massachusetts provides the large scale opportunity for students and employers.  These students change the world in countless ways.  With over $536 million in annual research expenditures, we are right behind MIT and Harvard in external funding for research.  Our $72 million in revenue from our research commercialization (FY2009) means that we continue to rank either 1st or 2nd in Massachusetts to MIT with Harvard right behind for the last few years.  Our $2.9 Billion budget in FY2011 is seeded with just under $500 million from the Commonwealth -up from $326 million in mid 2003, but cuts have been proposed for FY2012.


    One of Dr. Wilson's first actions was to completely restructure the UMass Building Authority in anticipation of efforts to rebuild the infrastructure of the University.  While we worked hard to increase capital funding from the state, we knew that we would have to do most of this work ourselves.  In the last six years, we have accomplished over $1.6 Billion in capital projects with only about 20% of that coming from the state.    This includes the first dormitories built in Amherst in the last 30 years.  Dorms, power plants, research buildings, classroom buildings, and athletic facilities have all been built in recent years.  At the Board meeting in the fall of 2007, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees approved a $2.9 Billion capital plan to guide the University over the coming decade. 



Board Memberships: He presently serves or has served on several national organizations:

  • Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Dept. of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE). 2010-2014

  • The national Board of Directors of the American Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) 2009-2011

  • The Chair of the Commission on Innovation Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity (CICEP) of APLU  2009-2011.

  • The National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (advising the FBI, CIA, and Homeland Security) 2010-2011

  • National Academy of Science/National Research Council Committee on Undergraduate Education Research and Implementation 2010-2012

  • The national Board of Directors of the Alliance for Research in Science and Technology for America (ASTRA)

  • The U.S. Council on Competitiveness

  • the National Leadership Council of the Association of American Colleges and Universities program on Liberal Education and America's Promise. 

  • chairs the Sloan/NASULGC Online Task Force for the Nat. Assn. of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

  • ECS- The Education Commission of the States -2004-2014

 Dr. Wilson also serves or has served on several regional boards including: