The chairman of the University of Massachusetts board of trustees has resigned after Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in on the search for a new system president.
Chairman Robert Manning announced his decision Wednesday.
“We are embarking on a transition phase that is significant for the University,” Manning said. "My term ends at the end of this academic year, and I cannot sign up for another five years..."
Manning and trustee James Karam have been overseeing the supposedly independent process to replace President Jack Wilson.
The Boston Globe reported that UMass-Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan was emerging as a favorite, but Patrick weighed in, saying he wanted someone with national heft and an academic background.
Patrick says he is disappointed that Manning is leaving the governance board.
"It's a big, big loss for the university and personally I think he's been a terrific chair of the board and he loves the university. You know he's a graduate. He's been a supporter of the university and I'm very, very sorry to see him go," Patrick said.
Manning is a UMass-Lowell graduate who now runs one of the Boston's biggest mutual fund firms, MFS Investment Management.
This program aired on December 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.