Editor’s word: NESAD should have own representative in presidential search committee


Suffolk is searching for a new president, and the Board of Trustees has enlisted help from members of the university community in identifying and choosing the next leader.

But, one section of the Suffolk community is grossly underrepresented in this search: The New England School of Art and Design.

A faculty member from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Sawyer Business School, and the Law School are all recent additions to the presidential search committee. But, a representative from NESAD is not among the group searching for the next president. A member of the search committee said this was because NESAD is a part of CAS. Though that is true, NESAD is a specialized school that has its own set of qualities and needs. This should not be ignored by the university or the search committee.

NESAD, which is physically separated from the rest of Suffolk’s buildings, now will be further disconnected from the community as they have no voice in a search that will greatly affect its future.

What the exclusion of NESAD says to the art and design students and faculty is that the search committee does not care about their opinions, which would be especially necessary when evaluating which candidate has the skill set to run a university with an award-winning art program.

This comes after cuts to programs at the art school. This comes after officials in 2012 determined NESAD would stay at its location on Arlington Street rather than move to the 20 Somerset building.

Being able to choose the next leader of the university is a privilege that should not eliminate feedback from an entire section of campus. Students and faculty at NESAD deserve the opportunity to help select a candidate who shows promise.

This decision should leave students asking what comes next for NESAD. Excluding the entire school from the presidential search may leave some wondering if the university does not see NESAD as a part of Suffolk’s future.

NESAD deserves more than this. Keeping the school out of the search for Suffolk’s next president is fundamentally wrong.