Jeff Cournoyer, vice president for communications in the University of Massachusetts system office, has been appointed managing director of the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy.
Cournoyer will serve as the Mount Ida Campusâ€™ primary point person for internal and external stakeholders, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the campus while focusing on public affairs and business development. He will work closely with UMass Amherst colleagues, including those in academic affairs, research and engagement, communications and government relations, to align the activities on the Mount Ida Campus with the needs of the Greater Boston business community. In his new role, Cournoyer will join the leadership team of University Relations on the Amherst campus, reporting directly to Vice Chancellor John Kennedy. Cournoyer will assume many of the responsibilities previously held by Deputy Chancellor and Chief Planning Officer Steve Goodwin, who will continue to contribute leadership on the Mount Ida Campus while shifting his focus to the UMass Center at Springfield. Cournoyer will begin transitioning from the system office to the Mount Ida Campus in November.
â€œAs undergraduate career preparation programs, industry-research collaborations and academic programming continue to expand on the Mount Ida Campus, we are fortunate to have someone with Jeffâ€™s public and private sector experience and thorough understanding of the university and its mission in this role,â€� Subbaswamy said. â€œJeff will help ensure that we continue to grow the Mount Ida Campus into a vital asset to the university, our students and the Commonwealthâ€™s economy.â€�
â€œIâ€™m grateful to Chancellor Subbaswamy for the opportunity to execute on his vision for the Mount Ida Campus and to Deputy Chancellor Goodwin for the groundwork he has laid in Newton over the last 18 months,â€� said Cournoyer. â€œThere is enormous opportunity to further develop a talent pipeline from UMass Amherst to Greater Boston employers while simultaneously positioning the campus to serve as an asset to the community and to the University of Massachusetts writ large.â€�
In his position as vice president for communications in Boston, Cournoyer has managed external affairs for the five-campus UMass system, including public relations, marketing and digital media. As a member of President Marty Meehanâ€™s senior leadership team, he has been a key advisor to the president, the UMass Board of Trustees and leadership on the five UMass campuses. Cournoyer was previously associate vice chancellor of public affairs at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he managed the Lowell campusâ€™ offices of media relations, government relations and community relations and led strategic communications initiatives. Prior to joining UMass, he was director of corporate communications for The Kraft Group, the holding company that includes the New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place. He also served as deputy chief of staff and budget director for former Massachusetts State Senator Stephen M. Brewer and as director for the Senate Committee on Ethics & Rules.
There are currently a variety of programs underway on the Mount Ida Campus, including the Veterinary Technology Program adopted from the former Mount Ida College. The program graduated approximately 55 students in May 2019, and the UMass Board of Trustees recently approved establishing a permanent program. This fall, the university will submit for regulatory approvals of a redesigned Vet Tech program, drawing on the strength of UMass Amherstâ€™s Veterinary and Animal Sciences program and leveraging outstanding facilities in both Amherst and Newton. The Mount Ida Campus is also hosting students in graduate programs in Statistics and in Business and Analytics, as well as undergraduate students taking part in an Electrical and Computer Engineering initiative with Boston-area companies.
In August 2019, the first cohort of UMass Amherst students completed summer internships and co-ops while living on the Mount Ida Campus, providing them opportunities to develop career skills working for Greater Boston companies. Students in the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship summer accelerator course also spent a week on the campus connecting with area businesses and alumni.
Professional development and economic development activities on the Mount Ida Campus have included UMass Transportation Center training courses for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), UMass Extension pesticide exam workshops, and a public forum on ticks and tick-borne disease hosted by the Laboratory of Medical Zoology.