UMass Dartmouth chancellor hired as Western New England University’s new president

DARTMOUTH – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Robert E. Johnson has been named the new president for Western New England University in Springfield, Mass., Western New England University announced June 15.

Johnson, who has served as UMass Dartmouth’s chancellor since 2017, announced four days earlier that he was resigning from his position in September, but it wasn’t initially clear at the time why he was stepping down. Johnson will succeed Anthony S. Caprio, who has been Western New England University’s longest-tenured president in school history – 24 years.

Johnson said in a statement that he hopes to build on Caprio’s leadership and legacy, and looks forward to engaging with the campus community to create a “shared ambition in writing its next chapter,” as well as navigate the school through the COVID-19 pandemic and current social unrest “with a sense of humanity and civility.”

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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