University of Massachusetts Senior Vice President to direct university relations, fundraising and legislative outreach

 Michael Collins, MD 

May 17, 2007

WORCESTER, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Michael F. Collins, MD, has been named interim chancellor of the University Massachusetts Worcester. After serving the university with distinction for two years as chancellor of UMass Boston, Dr. Collins was recently appointed to direct UMass health sciences efforts, charged with advising University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson and the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees on strategic initiatives to further the university's efforts in the Commonwealth's critical life sciences industry. As an extension of this important leadership role, President Wilson and the Board today named Collins to the interim Worcester position, where he will provide critical direction to the campus' continuing efforts to distinguish itself as the Commonwealth's premier academic health sciences center. 

"Dr. Collins is an accomplished leader and experienced manager who is primed to apply those experiences and skills gained at UMass Boston and from his prior service as chief executive of one of the region's largest health care providers to help UMass Worcester continue to realize its potential as a Massachusetts' leader in research, medical and nursing education and public service," President Wilson said. 

Collins is the successor to Aaron Lazare, MD, who served as UMass Worcester's chancellor since 1991; Dr. Lazare began a year-long sabbatical on March 15, 2007 after deciding to step down and return to faculty service for health reasons. Collins will work closely with recently appointed University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) Dean Terry Flotte, MD. As dean, Dr. Flotte serves as UMMS' chief administrator for the School of Medicine and as chief academic officer for the campus. 

As acting chancellor, Collins will primarily direct the campus' external outreach, focusing on expanding and enhancing relationships with the University Board, the community, the legislature and the philanthropic community. In addition, he will provide guidance for institutional advancement and fundraising initiatives and provide administrative oversight and leadership for UMMS enterprise operations, including Commonwealth Medicine and the Massachusetts Biologics Laboratories. Collins will also be responsible for managing the institutional infrastructure, including oversight of such departments as Information Services, Human Resources and finance and campus operations. 

"In Dr. Flotte and Dr. Collins, I believe we have found a strong and creative leadership duo that will work strategically and enthusiastically to capitalize on this very exciting time for the University of Massachusetts Worcester School of Medicine and Graduate Schools of Biomedical Sciences and Nursing," said President Wilson, adding, "I look forward to working with them to further develop a strategic vision for the campus' future." 

Stephen P. Tocco, chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees, expressed confidence in Collins' ability to bring attention to critical issues affecting UMass Worcester. "Michael Collins has distinguished himself with an extraordinary record of service leading non-profit, community-based institutions, working diligently to bring high-quality health care to people across Massachusetts. He has a familiarity with the challenges faced by academic medical centers as they work to provide the highest level of medical education, while balancing the needs of clinical faculty and the continuing demand to grow biomedical research." 

Collins was appointed chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2005. In this role, he was charged with overseeing an institution renowned for its access to excellence and its diversity-the campus boasts a student population of 13,000, speaking over 90 languages. Collins managed a budget of $176 million and led an academic community of more than 800 full and part-time faculty. 

Prior to joining UMass Boston, Collins served as president and chief executive officer of Caritas Christi Health Care System from 1994 to 2004. Under his leadership, Caritas Christi became the second-largest healthcare system in New England, generating more than $1.1 billion in annual revenues from six acute care hospitals, physician group practices, several extended care facilities and other healthcare entities, all located in eastern Massachusetts. From 1994 to 2001, Collins also served as president of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, a university academic medical center affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine. 

Collins has held a number of faculty positions over the course of his career, first at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where his posts included assistant professor of internal medicine and assistant dean for patient care resources, and at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he served as clinical professor of internal medicine and as a senior fellow, University College of Citizenship and Public Service. In that capacity, Collins conducted research on active citizenship opportunities for medical students, faculty and alumni of the School of Medicine, reviewed active citizenship and leadership qualities of medical school applicants, discussed curricular offerings and innovation, and charted a course for enhanced efforts in active citizenship and leadership. 

Collins is actively engaged in service to the greater Boston area and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and has amassed vast experience in governance of not for profit and educational entities. He has served on numerous boards, including those of Jobs for Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. On the national level, he has served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Catholic Health Association of the United States; as a member of the Administrative Board, Council of Teaching Hospitals of the Association of American Medical Colleges; and, as a Delegate for the American Medical Association, among others. 

Collins is a 1977 cum laude graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1981. 

The University of Massachusetts Worcester was created in l962 by an act of the Massachusetts legislature to enable state residents to study medicine at an affordable cost, and to increase the number of primary care physicians practicing in underserved areas of the state.  The School of Medicine accepted its first class of 16 students in 1970 and now accepts 100 students per class. Today, the 67-acre campus is comprised of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (opened in 1979), and the Graduate School of Nursing (opened in 1986). The Medical School has consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the country for primary care among the 125 schools nationwide. One of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, UMMS attracts more than $176 million in research funding annually and is on the leading edge of medical research into human disease and treatment.

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