Suffolk University in Boston Fires Its President

margaret_mckennaMargaret McKenna, president of Suffolk University in Boston, has been fired by the university’s board of trustees. Dr. McKenna was named the tenth president of Suffolk University in May 2015. She was the first woman president of the educational institution.

But just seven months into her tenure, broad disagreements erupted between the board of trustees and President McKenna. Faculty, students, and alumni groups rallied to support McKenna. The board planned to meet to vote whether to fire President McKenna and it was widely believed that it would do so. But an agreement was reached to end the crisis. Board chair Andrew Meyer agreed to leave his post at the end of his term in May. And President McKenna agreed to step down as president no later than the fall of 2017.

But after an emergency board meeting on July 28, McKenna was fired. In a statement, McKenna said, “I believe this termination is unfair and, in pursuit of the truth, I plan to pursue a mediation process.”

Early in her career, McKenna was a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, deputy counsel in the White House and undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education. McKenna was president of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1985 to 2007. From 2007 to 2011, McKenna was president of the Walmart Foundation. Before being named president of Suffolk University, McKenna had been serving as a visiting professor and acting director of the Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

McKenna is a graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston, where she majored in sociology. She holds a law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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