Is UMass Lowell’s Meehan in the Suffolk Hunt?

The Boston Herald’s Jessica Van Slack is reporting today that the Suffolk University Board of Trustees has a 13-member committee ready to go in search of a new President. Longtime President David Sargent has retired. It’s not a surprise that Van Slack “stirs the pot”  – reporting that four seach committee members have contributed at sometime to the campaign coffers of former Congressman and current Chancellor of UMass Lowell –  Marty Meehan. Rumor has it that Meehan is a contender for the positon. That Meehan – an alum – who formerly served as a Suffolk trustee counts some members as friends or advisors raises the question of  impartiality for  some should he actually be a candidate – a notion he has denied in the past.

Citing federal campaign reports Van Slack notes:

…Meehan’s congressional campaign received cash from four members of the search committee: a 1999 contribution of $500 from William T. Hogan III, who has done legal work for Meehan and is a close friend; $500 from developer Leo Corcoran of Milton in 2004; $250 from attorney Dennis M. Duggan Jr., the search committee’s chairman, in 1999; and $500 from attorney James Morris in 2004. Morris, a founding partner of the law firm Quinn & Morris, said he doesn’t view his contribution as a potential conflict.

“Marty Meehan is a very competent person,’’ said Morris, adding, “The fact of the matter is we’re all competent people committed to a national and international search for the best person. That doesn’t exclude (Meehan) either.’’

Meyer said he believes it would be unfair if the persistent talk among university insiders about Meehan’s candidacy were to exclude him as a candidate.

“This is a level playing field. Nobody comes in with an inside track, and nobody comes in with a tarnished position because anyone has attempted to torpedo their candidacy,’’ Meyer said.

The current climate in the Commonwealth seems to have ramped-up the cynacism surrounding the search for a new president at Suffolk University. Marty Meehan will probably have “no comment” – at least for now.