Ruth M. Batson Social Justice Award 2012
J. Keith Motley: Award Recipient
The recipient of the 2012 Ruth M. Batson Social Justice Award is J. Keith Motley, PhD. J. Keith Motley is the eighth chancellor of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston. His contribution as an advocate for education is extensive. He leads an institution with nearly 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students, a full-time and part-time faculty of more than 1,000, and a $305 million annual budget.
In addition to representing UMass Boston locally, nationally and internationally, Chancellor Motley oversees newly launched and highly ambitious master plan and strategic planning initiatives that reflect the university’s determination to remain true to its origins as a teaching institution while enhancing its standing in research, preparing its students to succeed in a transnational world, graduating significantly greater numbers to meet increasing demand for a well-educated workforce, and similarly growing as a source of knowledge and public service. Under his leadership the university has earned recognition by the Princeton Review as one of the 150 “Best Value Colleges” in the United States.
Dr. Motley’s advocacy for youth initiatives spans the ages. He is a founder of the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School and chair emeritus of the school’s Board of Trustees. He is also the founder and education chair of Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts, Inc., and the Paul Robeson Institute for Positive Self-Development, an academic and social enrichment program for school-aged children of color.
He serves on numerous boards of community organizations with local, regional and national reach, including Carney Hospital (as chair of the board of trustees), Freedom House, the Boston World Partnership, the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the Boston Sports Museum, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the Commonwealth Corporation, and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Dr. Motley also chairs the Boston Committee for the “Do the Write Thing Challenge,” an initiative of the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
Sharing his vast experience in educational leadership and administration, Dr. Motley is a past chair of the Newbury College Board of Trustees. He was appointed as the co-chair of the College Success Task Force initiated by the Mayor’s Office of the City of Boston. On a national level, he serves on the boards of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities’ (APLU). He is a member of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on Effective Leadership, he is the chair of APLU’s Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence (CADE), and he serves as a mentor for the Millennium Leadership Initiative, a premier leadership development program of AASCU that provides individuals from underrepresented populations in high-ranking positions in higher education the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the higher education landscape, develop skills, and build the networks needed to advance to the presidency.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Dr. Motley also served in various roles both on the campus and in the UMass System’s office, following more than 20 years as an administrator for Northeastern University.
Dr. Motley holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeastern University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston College. He also holds an honorary degree awarded by Northeastern University and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Upward Bound Program. He is married to Angela Motley and is the proud father of Keith Allyn, Kayla Iman, and Jordan Kiara.