"On the road together," is the theme of UMass President Robert Caret's extensive statewide tour, and also the key to a stronger future for both the state and the university.
"I think it's critical that Massachusetts continue to recognize and maybe even recognize a little more than they have recently how important Umass is to the future of Massachusetts as a whole and hence the citizens of Massachusetts as a whole," said Caret.
He took over from Jack Wilson on July 1 after an 8-year run as Towson University's president. this week, he plans on getting friendly with the state he now calls home, touring community landmark businesses like Smith & Wesson as well as newcomers like Holyoke's computing center.
"We just want to look at what we can do to help areas like Springfield grow and that's what I'm doing listening to the business communities how can we help you," said Caret.
As the largest university in the state, UMass serves as a massive economic beacon, boasting a nearly $5 billion a year economic impact on the state.
It's numbers like these Caret plans on continuing and even expanding.
"Our job is economic, educational and social. We want to make society better and part of that is to create jobs."
Still new to the area and to his role as president of Umass, the new king of the five campuses says the job is everything he thought it would be, and more.
"It's as complex as I expected, it's even more energized than I expected, the politics are even a little bit more aggressive than I expected but I'm having a good time."
Caret continues his tour in Worcester tomorrow stopping at Umass' medical school in Worcester and then traveling to Umass Lowell.
He concludes his travels Thursday at Umass Boston and Umass Dartmouth.
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