Jacqueline Moloney

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Jacqueline Moloney is the current and first female Chancellor (education) of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Moloney’s career has focused heavily on expanding online education. Her other research interests include access and inclusion in higher education, and public education.

In July 2021, Moloney announced plans to step down as chancellor following the 2021-22 academic year.[1] She intends to continue her work as a professor at UMass Lowell.

Early life and education

Jacqueline Fidler Moloney was born in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. She was the first in her family to attend and graduate college.[2][3] She earned two degrees from UMass Lowell, a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in education.

She also holds a master’s degree in social psychology from Goddard College.[1]


Early Career

Moloney began her career with Lowell organizations before going to work at UMass Lowell — then called the University of Lowell — as director of talent search and college prep in 1984. She was later director of admissions, director of freshman programs, dean of University College and director of the Centers for Learning.[4]

In 1994, having received an Ed.D. that made her a “double River Hawk” (with two degrees from UMass Lowell), Moloney joined the faculty and was named Dean of Online and Continuing Education. She held the position until 2007, when she was named Executive Vice Chancellor.[4]


Moloney was one of 20 people interviewed for the position of chancellor in 2015 by a 24-member search committee selected to replace Marty Meehan, who had been named president of the UMass System. The UMass Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Moloney, with the support of the faculty senate and faculty union, on Aug. 3, 2015, making her the first woman to lead UMass Lowell.[5][6]

In her chancellorship and career as a UMass Lowell executive, Moloney created an online education program while forging ties with industry and encouraging student entrepreneurs. She established the Division of Online and Continuing Education (now the Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies). She created the Office of Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. She established the DifferenceMaker program – an annual competition that rewards student innovation.[1]

A comprehensive fundraising campaign launched during her tenure as chancellor met its $125 million goal two years ahead of schedule, and ultimately surpassed that goal by $40 million.[1]

Oprah Winfrey scholarship

In November 2018, Moloney as chancellor interviewed talk-show host, producer, author and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey onstage in the third installment of the Chancellor’s Speaker Series. (Previous guests were Stephen King and Meryl Streep.)[7]

The Oprah event proved significant for UMass Lowell: Moloney said it raised more than $1.5 million for student scholarships — a total that Winfrey pledged to match. As part of the event, six UMass Lowell students were honored with the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship, given to students with a financial need who show a commitment to academic achievement. Winfrey received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the university.[7]

Awards and Recognition

Moloney was selected as a finalist for the Mass. Technology Leadership Council CEO of the Year award in 2018 and 2019 and was named Chief Executive HR Champion by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources in 2018.[8][9]

In 2017, Moloney was recognized as one of seven prominent “Women Who Mean Business” by the Boston Business Journal.[10] In 2021, she was number 19 on the Boston Globe's Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts.[11] In May of 2021, she received the "Make a Difference" award from Strongwater Farm.[12]


  • Moloney, J., Turner, L., & Forman, D. (2014). University of Massachusetts case study, transformational change through clear leadership. In Gentle, P., & Forman, D., Engaging leaders: The challenge of inspiring collective commitment in universities. (pp. 37-41). New York, NY: Routledge.[13]
  • Moloney, J., Hickey, C., Bergin, A., Boccia, J., Polley, K., & Riley, J. (2007) Characteristics of successful local blended programs in the context of the Sloan-C pillars. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 11(1).[14]
  • Moloney, J., & Oakley, B. (2006). Scaling online education: Increasing access into higher education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 10(3).[15] Tello, S., & Moloney, J. (2006). Linking assessment to institutional transformation. The Sloan-C View. 5(4).[16]
  • Moloney, J., Dion, S., Hickey, C., & Siccama, C. (2005). Transforming graduate students through service learning. Academic Leadership. 20(11).[16]
  • Moloney, J., & Tello, S. (2003). Achieving quality and scale through transformative assessment: A case study. Elements of quality online education: Into the mainstream, volume 5 in the Sloan-C series.[17]
  • Moloney, J., & Tello, S. (2003). Principles for building success in online education. Syllabus, 16(7) 15-17.[18]
  • Moloney, J. (1994). Elements and issues of planning a cross-disciplinary general education curriculum. Journal of General Education, 43(2), 73-89.[19]
  • Moloney, J. (1991). Changing beliefs about the under prepared student. In N. Wyner (Ed.), Current Perspectives on School Culture. Boston, MA: Brookline Books.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney to step down in June 2022". Lowell Sun. 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  2. "Moloney, UML make history". Lowell Sun. 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  3. "Alumni Spotlight: Chancellor Jacquie Moloney". Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Moloney CV" (PDF).
  5. "Historic vote puts Moloney at UMass Lowell helm". Lowell Sun. 2015-08-04. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  6. Inauguration of Chancellor Jacqueline F. Moloney (2:40), retrieved 2022-02-15
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Oprah raises consciousness and $3M at UMass Lowell". Lowell Sun. 2018-11-16. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  8. "UML's Moloney finalist for high-tech award". Lowell Sun. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  9. "UMass Lowell No. 19 among top 100 women-led businesses in state". Lowell Sun. 2021-11-07. Retrieved 2022-02-15.
  10. "Women Who Mean Business 2017".
  11. "The 2021 Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts". The Boston Globe.
  12. "Strongwater Farm honors UML Chancellor Jacquie Moloney for making a difference". Lowell Sun. 2021-05-18. Retrieved 2022-02-28.
  13. "University Case Study" (PDF).
  14. Moloney, Jacqueline F.; Hickey, Charmaine P.; Bergin, Amy L.; Boccia, Judith; Polley, Kathleen; Riley, Jeannette E. (2019-02-11). "Characteristics of Successful Local Blended Programs in the Context of the Sloan-C Pillars". Online Learning. 11 (1). doi:10.24059/olj.v11i1.1734. ISSN 2472-5730.
  15. Moloney, Jacqueline F.; Oakley, Burks (March 2010). "Scaling Online Education: Increasing Access to Higher Education". Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 14 (1): 55–70. ISSN 1939-5256.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Moloney CV" (PDF).
  17. Moloney, Jacqueline; Tello, Steven, 1 Achieving Quality and Scale in Online Education Through Transformative Assessment: A Case Study, retrieved 2022-02-15 {{citation}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  18. Tello, Steven (2003-01-01). "Principles for building success in online education". Syllabus.
  19. Moloney, Jacqueline Fidler (1994). "Elements and Issues in Planning Cross-Disciplinary Clusters from a Faculty Perspective". Journal of General Education. 43 (2): 73–89. ISSN 0021-3667.

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