Welcome James McCarthy and Lot’s of Luck

January 24, 2012
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James McCarthy has been named the ninth president of Suffolk University.

He comes here from Baruch College in New York City, which is part of the New York State college system. He was the chief academic officer at Baruch, which has 18,000 students and 500 faculty.

McCarthy has a distinguished curriculum vitae. He is a graduate of the college of the Holy Cross where he received an A.B. He earned an M.A. at Indiana University.

He holds a Ph.d from Princeton University.

McCarthy is regarded as both an academic and a scholar.

At Baruch he also led a recent effort to develop a new five-year strategic plan.

By all accounts, he appears well suited to lead Suffolk University, whose future needs the kind of shepherding and leadership that McCarthy might be well able to provide.

The president of Suffolk University needs to communicate freely and frequently with the residents of Beacon Hill. He will learn this as he gets settled. He should also develop a close relationship with Mayor Thomas Menino as doing virtually anything of meaning that affects the people of Beacon Hill will be felt and guided at city hall. Boston is not New York. This is a small, interconnected place where all the dots must be connected between Beacon Hill residents, city hall, the needs of Suffolk students and the faculty of the school.

Suffolk faces financial and educational hurdles as well as social and environmental issues.

Suffolk presently enjoys a Pax Americana with the people of Beacon Hill. This peace was earned after many years of sometimes heated debates about where the university could develop and where it could not, of how its students should comport themselves and of how they should not and about what steps would be taken to ensure the future of the university and the maintenance of the quality of life on Beacon Hill.

The new president will find that he must wear many hats – not just the robes of the distinguished academic.

He will find people here concerned about the university’s well-being and the well-being of Beacon Hill.

Mainly, he will find his job far more complex and Byzantine than he might have imagined.

First reports indicate McCarthy is a very well educated, very nice man who understands what must be done to make Suffolk’s future bright and rich.

We wish him the best in his new position.

Welcome to Boston – and welcome especially to Beacon Hill, Mr. McCarthy.

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