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UMass Provost James Staros announces he will resign at end of academic year

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James V. Staros will resign at the end of this academic year.
PHOTO COURTESY OF UMASS

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James V. Staros will resign at the end of this academic year. PHOTO COURTESY OF UMASS Purchase photo reprints »

In an email to colleagues Wednesday afternoon, Staros, 66, said his resignation is due to changes in his “personal circumstances.” He is also a professor in the university’s department of biochemistry and molecular biology and said he will continue to teach there after resigning as provost.

“The provost worked very hard and effectively over the last five years,” university spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said Wednesday. “We appreciate all his accomplishments and contributions to the university during that time.

Blaguszewski said he did not have any details about the reason for Staros’ decision. Staros did not return calls seeking comment.

“While I had planned to serve longer in my current role, changes in my personal circumstances have led to my decision to step down earlier than I had previously intended,” Staros said in the email. “I am announcing this now, rather than waiting until later in the 2013-2014 academic year to clear the way for Chancellor (Kumble) Subbaswamy to conduct a national search in time for have a new provost in place for the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year.”

Blaguszewski said university officials will determine the search process soon and Staros’ early announcement “has given us a good timetable to work with.”

“I’m sure Chancellor Subbaswamy will conduct a thorough and thoughtful search,” he added.

As the provost, Staros is the chief academic officer of the university and responsible “for the academic missions of the campus in education, research and scholarship, and outreach and service,” according to the office of the provost’s website.

After studying biology and chemistry at Dartmouth College, Yale University and Harvard University, Staros started his teaching career at Vanderbilt University in 1986. He taught and chaired science departments there from 1991 through 2002, when he took a job as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was hired as provost and professor at UMass in 2009.

Staros lives in Leverett with his wife Alice C. Harris, a linguistics professor at UMass. They have three grown children, according to the website.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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