Chancellor, University of Massachusetts: 2008-2012
A German scholar, Holub’s career has been devoted to public research universities. His last post was provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville. As provost, Holub focused on increasing the student retention rates as a way to improve student learning and raise rankings among peer institutions.
Most of Holub’s professional life was spent at the University of California Berkeley, where he worked for 27 years and left a mark in many areas. He was a full professor and held several administrative offices. During his tenure as chair of the German Department, the National Research Council ranked the department the best in the field. As dean of the Undergraduate Division of the College of Letters and Science, Holub was responsible for the education of approximately 18,000 undergraduates on the Berkeley campus. He introduced significant reforms in general education, undergraduate advising, and educational policy.
A prolific writer, Holub’s academic interest is in 19th and 20th-century German intellectual, cultural, and literary history. He has written 12 books and more than 100 articles and essays on issues ranging from early 19th century German realism to postwar examination of the Holocaust. The poet Heinrich Heine and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche are frequent subjects in Holub’s publications.
The UMass Amherst chancellor grew up in New Jersey and is the first in his family to attend college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in natural science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he earned a master’s degree in comparative literature in 1973, a master's in German in 1976, and a doctorate in German in 1979.
In 2012 Holub left his position at the University.