Suffolk University President Abruptly Retires Today

The Boston Herald is reporting  that longtime Suffolk University President David Sargent unexpectedly and abruptly retired today. Nearly eighty, Sargent was expected to retire when his contract expired in 2013. That has led to much speculation about his successor. In fact, a search team of  Suffolk University trustees is in place and working on a plan. We wrote about this situation early this month when another Herald story speculated on a tussle for replacing Sargent in the future. I wrote on October 15th:

In today’s edition of the Boston Herald Jessica Heslam writes about a struggle for the top job at Suffolk University where the combatants – veterans of the political slog – both claim “nay – nay.” Both former Boston City Councilor John Nucci and former Member of Congress Marty Meehan deny any interest in replacing the current university – President David Sargent – whose contract will expire in 2013. Both men are now in academia – Nucci is a Suffolk University Vice-president and Meehan is the Chancellor at UMass Lowell. Meehan is close to many at Suffolk having served himself for  years as a trustee. As Heslam describes it:

Elbows are flying and dimes are dropping in a bruising behind-the-scenes battle between two local political figures over the plum $1.5-million gig running Suffolk University.

A couple of twists – William Hogan a trustee on the “succession planning” committee told the Herald:

There isn’t a job – there’s nothing to angle for,” said Hogan, adding the succession committee “isn’t a search committee.” “The charge was to interview people at the school, all of the various stake holders, looking at what best practices would be for moving forward with a succession plan,” Hogan said.

On the other hand since his contract as Chancellor ran out in July – Meehan is in negotiations for his current position. And then there’s this –  University of  Massachusetts President Jack Wilson is stepping down from his position as head of entire system in June 2011. Meehan told the Herald:

“I’m very happy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell,” he told the Herald. “I’m fully engaged in transforming this campus and have no interest in becoming president of Suffolk University.”

According to the Herald article today speculation continues about Nucci and Meehan:

Among those who angled to replace Sargent were University of Massachusetts at Lowell Chancellor Martin Meehan, an ex-congressman, and Suffolk vice president John Nucci, a former Hub city councilor. It is unclear whether either is still in the mix.

Expect a statement from Chancellor Meehan on Sargents’ service as President and another denial of interest in the position.  But is it a tremendous opportunity! So by all means, stay tuned.

Read the Herald article here.

One Response to Suffolk University President Abruptly Retires Today

  1. DickH says:

    I had Dean Sargent for Wills and Trusts at Suffolk Law School twenty-five years ago. He went the whole year without using a single note. He’s just stand up there at the lectern with the course case book open and ask questions in the Socratic method. One day no one in the 90 person class would raise a hand in response to his question. He calmly closed his book and walked out the door. Overall, it was a fascinating class but it was tough warming up to someone who exuded so much dignity.