Capaldi Looks to UMass

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has selected UB Provost Elizabeth Capaldi as one of three finalists for the position of university chancellor.

Capaldi, who could not be reached for comment, went to visit the campus this past weekend and will learn at the end of April whether she has been offered the position.

"I wish her well, I hope she doesn't go," said UB President William R. Greiner.

Capaldi is competing for the position against William E. Hogan II, a member of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and chairman and CEO of The Hogan Company of Minneapolis; and John V. Lombardi, director of the Center for Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences and a former president of the University of Florida.

University administrators praised Capaldi's work at UB over the last two years, particularly her diligence in attracting research dollars to the university and reorganizing UB's administrative structure.

"[She] brought in a cracker jack team to build research money," said Jaylan Turkkan, UB's vice president for research.

Turkkan pointed to Capaldi's understanding of the regional economy, her work in developing UB's study of informatics and the combination of several departments as benchmarks of the provost's success. She said Capaldi focused university staff on a "few key themes," instead of stretching them over many tasks.

Greiner called the provost a "ripe target" for other universities and said the fact that the University of Massachusetts is scouting her "speaks well for us."

"It's her choice and I really wish her well in that," said Greiner.

While Turkkan commended the provost's performance, she was pragmatic about Capaldi's possible departure.

"Maybe the search would find another person to come in and shake things up," said Turkkan.

-Philip Badaszewski