Dr. J. Keith Motley served as Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2017. Currently Dr. Motley serves as a tenured professor in UMass Boston's College of Management and has taught the Leadership Capstone for doctoral students for twelve years. Previous to his appointment as Chancellor, Motley served as Vice President for Business, Marketing, and Public Affairs. Prior to joining the President’s Office, he was the Interim Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he previously had served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, following more than 30 years in higher education administration that included 10 years as Dean of Student Services at Northeastern University.
As Chancellor, Motley oversaw a strategic planning initiative to enhance the university’s academic offerings and research enterprise, grow enrollment to meet the increasing demand for a well-educated workforce, and build the university as a resource of knowledge and public service. As the first African American chancellor of UMass Boston, which is considered the most diverse public university in New England, Motley highlighted academic excellence, access, and inclusion among its key missions. Motley also oversaw UMass Boston’s 25-year master plan to enhance the campus and improve its layout on Columbia Point.
Motley also serves on numerous boards of organizations with local, regional, and national reach. He was named to the Boston Business Journal's "Power 50" list of Boston-area influencers for five years in a row. In 2016, he was named to the "Get Konnected! 100" list of Boston's 100 Most Influential People of Color.
A product of the Pittsburgh public schools, he is also a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Upward Bound Program. Motley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University and a doctor of philosophy from Boston College. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees awarded by Northeastern University, Stonehill College, and Robert Morris University and the President’s Award for Distinguished Civic Leadership from Emerson College. He is married to Angela Motley and is the proud father of Keith Allyn, Kayla Iman, and Jordan Kiara.