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Marty Meehan, who was selected in May to lead the University of Massachusetts system, was formally inaugurated on Thursday.
The inauguration ceremony, held at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate on the UMass Boston campus, was attended by several state leaders — including U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg.
Speaking during the ceremony, Baker praised the work Meehan did at UMass Lowell, where Meehan served as chancellor before being tapped to lead the system.
"All the great ideas, all the clarity in the world, if you can't actually deliver, don't amount to much at all," Baker said. "And as several people have already said today and as anybody who has visited [the Lowell] campus in the past couple of years knows, Marty knows about follow through."
Meehan, who is the first UMass graduate to lead the system, told the crowd that the school plays an important role in the state.
"It is my firm belief that the University of Massachusetts is the most important institution in Massachusetts in the critical areas of social mobility and economic growth," Meehan said.
Meehan also said he was focused on affordability, and pitched a plan to develop a cheaper UMass degree.
"It's a $30,000 to $35,000 degree, a four-year degree," Meehan explained after the ceremony. "It requires a student to commute, you can't get housing obviously, but I think for certain students that would be appropriate."
Meehan, who has been serving in his new role as president since July 1, succeeds Robert Caret, who stepped down to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system.
With reporting by WBUR's Fred Thys
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