Robert L. Caret, who studied chemistry and mathematics as an undergraduate at Suffolk University, has been selected as president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, effective July 1.

"It is great to be back home in Boston," he said. "Higher Education, both public and private, are facing unprecedented funding challenges. It is an important time for us to aggressively work together for the common good: access to an affordable, high-quality education for our citizens."

Record of achievement

Caret is president of Towson University, a Maryland public institution near Baltimore, where he is credited with closing the achievement gap among a diverse student population through admissions strategies and mentoring programs.

The Washington Post reported in August that Towson is one of very few schools with “little or no disparity in graduation rates between black and Hispanic students and white students.”

Centennial honors

Caret graduated from Suffolk University in 1969 and earned a PhD in organic chemistry form the University of New Hampshire.

He was a speaker at the University’s 2006 Centennial Convocation, bringing greetings from the academic community.

The University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree during the Centennial celebration.

Caret was on the faculty and in administration at Towson for 21 years before leaving for an eight-year stint as president of San Jose State University. He returned to Towson as president in 2003.