Newspaper Reports Governor Romney Trying to Push Aside a Black Man Who Is Next In Line to Chair University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees

The board of trustees of the University of Massachusetts is scheduled to hold its next full meeting on November 8. The board’s current chair was not reappointed to the board by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, so the election of a new board chair is expected at the next meeting.

Next in line is vice chair Karl E. White, an investment whiz who until recently managed the $1.6 billion retirement fund of the workers of the Boston transit system. White is an African American who studied pharmacy at Florida A&M University. “The clear difference in my life was that I was able to get a good affordable education at Florida A&M University,” White told The Boston Globe. “I don’t have far to go to see the significance of that.”

White’s Horatio Alger story, which he credits to his start in public higher education, would seem to make him uniquely qualified to head the UMass board of trustees. But the Globe reports that lame duck Governor Romney is maneuvering to have Stephen Tocco, a new appointee and current chair of the state board of higher education, named chair of the UMass board of trustees.