New president chosen for Suffolk University


President James McCarthy (Photo courtesy of Suffolk University)

The search for Suffolk’s new president came to a close tonight when the board of trustees unanimously selected James McCarthy, provost and senior vice president for student affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York, according to a statement from the University. McCarthy will begin his tenure at Suffolk on Feb. 1, said the statement.

“I am honored to be joining Suffolk University, which was built on the principle of providing students with access to educational excellence and opportunity.” said McCarthy in the statement. “I also share Suffolk’s commitment to public service and can think of no university that is as deeply woven into the fabric of the city of Boston as Suffolk is. I am eager to meet the faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends of Suffolk University so that we may begin working together to advance the University.”

Since McCarthy became provost and senior vice president at Baruch College in 2007, he has overseen academic programs and services, which include schools of arts and sciences, business and public affairs, as well as the college’s library and technology center. He managed an academic budget of more than $100 million and led efforts to develop a five-year program at the college, according to the statement.

“Jim McCarthy is an extraordinarily capable academic leader, and I am extremely sorry to be losing him as a senior colleague at Baruch College,” said Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein, president of Baruch College. “With a strong academic research and administration background, he understands intuitively what an effective university leader must do to take advantage of new opportunities in order to move forward a complex organization.”

Before joining Baruch, McCarthy taught sociology at Johns Hopkins University and the University of New Hampshire, where he was the dean of School of Health and Human Services for six years, said the statement. He earned an A.B. from the College of the Holy Cross, an M.A. from Indiana University, and a Ph.D from Princeton University, all in sociology.

“Jim McCarthy is a proven academic leader and an eminent scholar who brings great vision and a wealth of experience to Suffolk University,” said Andrew C. Meyer, Jr., chairman of the Suffolk University Board of Trustees, in the statement. “He shares the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching and to preparing each of our students for success and lifelong learning. He is a strategic thinker and an innovator with a passion for the positive role technology can play in education. And he understands the challenges and opportunities that come with a growing institution in the heart of a great city. At this critical juncture in the University’s history, I am exceedingly confident that Jim McCarthy is the right person to lead us into a new era of academic excellence.”

The decision from the board of trustees came more than a year after longtime president, David Sargent, retired from Suffolk in October 2010. Since then, Provost Barry Brown has served as Acting President.

“The Search Committee is very pleased to welcome Dr. James McCarthy to Suffolk University. He emerged from a strong field of candidates, and we are confident that he is a leader who will inspire the campus community as we enter a new era,” said University Trustee Dennis M. Duggan, Jr., who chaired the Presidential Search Committee, in the statement. “I thank the members of the Search Committee for their sacrifice, focus, effort and thoughtful diligence over the past 10 months. And I join the committee in thanking our alumni, faculty, administrators, staff and students for their invaluable input and guidance throughout the process.”