Marcelo Suárez-Orozco Named Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Boston

Wasserman Dean led GSE&IS in addressing issues of immigration and education, mind and brain research for diverse learners, the needs of at-risk youth and families, and strengthening teaching about climate change.

Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies has been named chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, an urban public research university.

“Marcelo’s leadership has been truly remarkable for GSE&IS, for UCLA and for the greater community,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “While we will miss his vision and enthusiasm in Westwood, UMass Boston is fortunate to be gaining a leader with his commitment to innovation, inclusion and global outreach. I look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish there.”

Suárez-Orozco leaves UCLA after nearly a decade of leadership that saw the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies grow into one of the top ranked graduate schools in the nation. As dean, he led the development and support of a talented majority-minority faculty, staff and student body and forged important new initiatives in education and information studies, while raising more than $120 million in support of the graduate school and university.   Suárez-Orozco also represented GSE&IS at some of the world’s most influential forums – from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery to the Vatican and the G-20 Economic Summit, advocating for public education as fundamental to the disruption of growing inequality and for the practice of democratic citizenship in troubled times.  

During Suárez-Orozco’s tenure, with a focus on the needs of urban schools and students, the UCLA Education department established groundbreaking community schools and furthered the development of teachers and education leaders to meet their needs. And with his leadership and fundraising, the UCLA Lab School has completed extensive renovations to its campus. 

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and information Studies is home to CRESST, a nationally renowned center for innovation in research methods, evaluation and assessment, as well as the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), and the Civil Rights Project/Proyect Derechos Civiles.  With Suárez-Orozco at the helm, GSE&IS has also launched important efforts addressing the impacts of immigration, opportunities for improving education through mind and brain research, comprehensive strategies for addressing the needs of at-risk youth and families, and most recently, efforts to strengthen teaching about climate change. 

In a rapidly changing “post-truth” era, Dean Suárez-Orozco also supported the efforts of the UCLA Department of Information Studies to prepare the scholars and experts needed to pursue and preserve knowledge, facts and evidence. In work that ranges from the preservation of artistic and historical artifacts to the study of social media, the UCLA Department of Information Studies is preserving society’s access to knowledge, memory and heritage and defining and reshaping the library, archival and information sciences. Faculty, staff and students are engaged in major initiatives in the study, research and use of data science, the use of information as evidence, and how information and technology are reshaping our communities, economies and culture.

Commenting on his appointment as chancellor and pending departure from UCLA, Suárez-Orozco said, “It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to work with an extraordinary group of faculty, staff and students at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies for nearly a decade. Together, we took a wonderful school to the next level of excellence, engagement and relevance in Los Angeles, in California and beyond. Guided by an ethic of social justice, a firm dedication to the highest scholarly standards, and a non-negotiable commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion – we have made GSE&IS a stronger school during a period of significant challenges in higher education. It is with mixed emotions that Carola and I have decided to move on to our next challenge at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in America’s Athens – its great city of education.”

Suárez-Orozco will remain at UCLA until July 31, 2020. To ensure a smooth transition, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily A. Carter said in a statement that she will announce a process for selecting an interim dean shortly and will keep the GSE&IS community informed as a search for Marcelo’s successor is initiated. 

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies is home to 16 nationally renowned research centers, three innovative partnership schools, and some of the world’s premiere education and information experts. For more information, visit

Photo by Jennifer Young