Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Players in presidential search in place

Suffolk has taken the next step in choosing its new president, naming a search committee which includes a student representative, junior Scott Zalatoris.

Zalatoris, an SGA senator, said having a student on the committee was a priority. “This is the biggest thing in the last 40 years—the students need to say how [the university] is going to be shaped.”

SGA President Mitch Vieira said he was asked by the Dean’s offices from the Sawyer Business School (SBS) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to submit a recommendation for the student representative.

“I vetted probably 10 to 15 names,” said Vieira, who ultimately decided on Zalatoris and forwarded the recommendation to the deans and Andrew Meyer, Board of Trustees Chairman who formed the committee.

“The first thing I did was research how various universities put together selection committees,” said Meyer. “We wanted to have a committee made up of representative from all three schools,” (CAS, SBS, and Suffolk Law School).

Meyer named the committee to the Suffolk community in December, after President Sargent’s sudden retirement in October.

In addition to Zalatoris, the committee includes a representative from each school—Michael Behnam from the SBS, Ilene Seidman, an Assistant Dean from the Law School, and Rachael V. Cobb, new government department chair from the CAS.

The committee also has six trustees—Leo J. Corcoran, Dennis M. Duggan, William T Hogan, III, Deborah F. Marson, James T. Morris,  Tara Taylor. Acting President Barry Brown, Damian Wilmot, Director of the Law School Alumni Association, and Massachusetts General Hospital President Peter L. Slavin are also on the committee.

Meyer interviewed and selected candidates based on recommendations he received.

“There are certain skill sets I would like to see [in a new president],” said Duggan, chairman of the committee. “A superior academic reputation, superior leadership qualities and a proven ability to raise funds—a person who would be inclusive to the many constituencies who make up our Suffolk community.”

But finding the person with those qualities is a long way down the road, according to committee members. The committee hasn’t met yet and when they do, their first step will be to hire a firm to scout candidates nationwide. These candidates will be sent to the committee and the final decision will be made by the Board of Trustees, according to Duggan.

A committee member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it’s too soon to come up with the qualities for a new president since the committee hasn’t had its first meeting.

“That would limit us,” she said. “I really approach this with a totally open mind.”

Zalatoris said Meyer encouraged him to keep the student body posted on where the committee is in the process, but he can’t release any candidate names due to legal issues.

“My job as a student representative is to report back to the students,” and taking their input to committee meetings, he said.

“I gave out my Suffolk email. I encourage people; I implore them to send me their thoughts, their feelings. I plan on encouraging people to bring ideas to their senators to bring to me. I’d like to meet with clubs. I’d love to set up times just to get a room and have people come in if they want to bring ideas,” said Zalatoris.

Committee members said that more developments will be made available as the process movers along. The first meeting is February 2.

Derek Anderson of Journal Staff contributed to this report.

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Players in presidential search in place