Meyer and McKenna to Step Down in Coming Years
In a resolution passed today by the Board of Trustees and supported by President Margaret McKenna, it was decided that Chairman Andrew Meyer will step down after his term expires in May, while McKenna will step down when a new president is chosen no later than the 2017-18 school year. Additionally, the board’s bylaws will be updated by May of this year.
“The Board believes in this great institution and has expressed its gratitude to the Chair and to the President for their good-faith efforts to reach agreement on the proposal passed by the Board today,” reads the press release.
The Alumni for the Integrity of Suffolk University, a new group that has been active throughout this whole affair, sent a press release stating their disappointment with the board’s decision.
“Let us be clear,” said the alumni’s statement, “some of the changes we sought and achieved through this decision—including the removal of Andrew Meyer and the revision of the Board’s by-laws—should be accomplished sooner than May of 2016. We stand firm that Andrew Meyer and his executive committee ought to step down effective immediately and that all relationships with Regan Communications Group be investigated by a third party.”
The alumni group also stated that they plan to remain engaged with the university, and have found a sense of community through this ordeal.
“If there is one lesson that can be learned here, it is that the Suffolk community is resilient, devoted, and full of heart,” they said.
Students have not supported the board’s decision either, turning to social media to voice their opinion. One student wrote “Get Meyer gone, get McKenna to stay!” on the Suffolk student activism page. The majority, however, wishes to consult McKenna first, to ensure she truly wishes to step down. If not, they plan to support her presidency fully.
“If she wanted to stay, we should stand by her,” wrote student organizer Morgan Williams, adding her discontent with the lack of change within the board. “What about the conflict of interest? What about Reagan Communications?”
Tiffany Martinez, one of the student rally organizers, is equally disappointed with the board’s decision.
“I feel some emptiness where I should feel pride,” she said. “It’s beautiful to see students, faculty, alumni, and staff alike join together for something like this, but honestly I am hurt that the university ignored us.”
Before today’s meeting, students rallied together in the lobby of 73 Tremont, where President McKenna made an appearance.
“We have come to an agreement that I think is in the best interest of the institution,” said McKenna to an overwhelmingly supportive crowd. “It is something I have proposed and it is, I think, good for the institution and good for me and good for you.”
McKenna thanked students, faculty, and alumni for their support over the past week, saying “it has made all the difference.”
Martinez addressed the crowd with optimism before announcing their march to Post Office Square, where the Board of Trustees would be meeting.
“Silence is consent,” she said, adding that their actions will show the board that “we all really invest ourselves, our whole selves – even in the snow – into the progress of this university and this institution.”
“This is about a board that has long been an issue and as a community we finally have a voice to change that,” said Williams.
Students, faculty, and alumni marched to Post Office Square, brandishing signs of support for McKenna, chanting “We want McKenna!” “We are Suffolk!” and “No Trust in the Trustees!”
Arriving at the location of the meeting roughly an hour early, students marched, chanted, and shared their support for McKenna as board members entered the building in the flurries of snow. At 2 pm, at the time of the board’s meeting, the crowd marched back to 73 Tremont, their message shared, although how well it was received is unknown.
“We will not end it like this,” said Martinez on the Suffolk activism Facebook page. “Each person has a voice, each person has a platform, and together we will always remain united. When the board does not take care of us, we will take care of each other.”