Sounds of silence at Suffolk

The silence coming out of Suffolk University is deafening.

The board of trustees still isn’t talking about why it fired president Margaret McKenna, and McKenna herself hasn’t said anything since she issued a statement late last week suggesting her termination was unfair.

The lack of chatter is amazing given the circus that erupted earlier this year when the board tried to fire McKenna and she turned the tables by rallying students, faculty, and the media to her cause. She eventually struck a deal with the board, agreeing to stay on until fall 2017 as long as board chairman Andrew Meyer left and changes to the board’s governing structure were made.

But a board with a new chairman and three new members, all appointed with input from McKenna, voted unanimously to terminate the earlier deal and give her the boot. McKenna’s chief of staff, Carol Streit, also left.

Suffolk announced McKenna’s removal in a letter to students and faculty that was almost comical in its brevity. Board chairman Robert Lamb Jr. said McKenna “is no longer serving as president” and then spent the rest of the two-page letter talking about her interim replacement and the search for a new president. As for Streit, Suffolk spokesman Greg Gatlin said: “We don’t comment on personnel matters.”

The firing of McKenna and the departure of Streit followed a report from outside counsel Dan Goldberg, who was called in to investigate charges raised by former Suffolk public relations advisor George Regan; Goldberg reportedly found nothing to substantiate Regan’s claims, but he must have uncovered something else that was big because the board wasted no time in dumping McKenna.

McKenna’s statement portrayed her as the victim, suggesting the agreement she had reached earlier in the year with the board had been sabotaged. “Sadly, the forces that have been at work since the inception of my presidency have continued through these months to undermine that agreement,” she said. “I believe this termination is unfair and, in pursuit of the truth, I plan to pursue a mediation process.”

But it doesn’t seem like anyone is buying McKenna’s explanation this time around. While it remains unclear exactly why she was fired, few of her former supporters seem to be coming to her defense. There have been no faculty protests, no student demonstrations, and no outpouring of support from Boston officials. Attorney General Maura Healey’s office, which issued a report in May criticizing the Suffolk board of trustees and urging its members to adhere to the agreement with McKenna, had no comment.

All this silence may be the lull before the storm, but so far it suggests McKenna is done at Suffolk.



Attorney General Maura Healey’s rollout of her assault weapons directive left a lot to be desired. (CommonWealth)

Gov. Charlie Baker will sign the recently-passed ride-hailing legislation. (Boston Herald)

Paul F. Levy has a message for Senate President Stan Rosenberg: Stan, the system is working. (CommonWealth)

The state’s new equal pay law explained. (WBUR)

Andover officials are upset with the Legislature’s override of Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto of legislation barring city officials from asking retired municipal workers to pay a greater share of their health care costs. (Gloucester Times)

An Eagle-Tribune editorial calls for passage of legislation that would address sealed records for prior drunk driving convictions.

Former Scott Brown campaign manager Colin Reed says former governor Deval Patrick should keep mum on the performance of his successor, a reaction to a poke at Charlie Baker that Patrick took at the Democratic National Convention. (Boston Herald)

Tom Dretler says paid family leave is good for businesses and families. (CommonWealth)


The Boston police are defending their decision to allow the shady owner 362 taxi medallions to transfer the permits to his wife just and children four days before he was hit was federal fraud and tax charges. (Boston Globe)

Rockland’s town administrator said Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz “blew it” when a judge dismissed charges against a local resident for illegally selling cars for more than two years without a permit in a residentially zoned neighborhood. (Patriot Ledger)

More than 18 months after approving the ordinance, Falmouth joins a growing list of Cape Cod towns that have banned single-use plastic bags by stores. (Cape Cod Times)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh appoints a special adviser on chronic homelessness. (Boston Globe)

East Bridgewater officials suspended use of the town’s animal control officer while an investigation into conditions of her commercial dog kennel in Whitman is underway. (The Enterprise)

Ashland selectmen blasted a local resident for “wasting” the board’s time by filing at least eight Open Meeting Law violation complaints since February. (MetroWest Daily News)


Some of those federal prisoners who had their sentences commuted earlier this week by President Obama had faced gun charges in addition to their drug crimes despite the claim of the White House that they were nonviolent offenses. (National Review)


Donald Trump rallies supporters in Portland, Maine, returning to his theme of warnings against immigrants and terrorism. (Boston Globe) The Harvard Republican Club calls Trump “a threat to the survival of the Republic” and will not support him. (Masslive, The Harvard Crimson)

Fareed Zakaria calls Trump a bullshit artist. (Washington Post)

Polls nationally and in swing states show Hillary Clinton in the lead against Trump. (Time) Models that use economic variables to predict presidential election outcomes all say Trump should be winning, but Trump, writes the Globe’s Evan Horowitz, “isn’t a model candidate.”

Libertarian Party vice presidential candidate William Weld outshines the party’s presidential standard-bearer Gary Johnson during CNN town hall, says Kevin Peterson. (CommonWealth)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she “can’t imagine” accepting a job in a Clinton administration. (Keller@Large) “Do you really want Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear trigger?” Warren asks. (Greater Boston) The New York Times talks with experts who say there is no check on a president’s power to use the nuclear arsenal.

Less than half of Massachusetts cities and towns have completed their plans to allow for early voting this fall, as now required by state law. (Boston Globe)


The economic recovery may be more robust than thought as the July jobs report released Friday morning shows employers added 255,000, a much bigger increase than expected. (New York Times)

A failed last-minute legislative effort to transfer management of New Bedford’s State Pier from the Department of Conservation and Recreation to MassDevelopment has left a number of questions about DCR’s ability to oversee the growing maritime  businesses on the waterfront. (Standard-Times)


Some alumni are upset about a planned Boston Harbor cruise to honor former Boston Latin School leaders Lynne Mooney Teta and Malcolm Flynn, who both resigned amidst the turmoil over race issues at the schools. (Boston Herald)


A Berkshire Eagle editorial slams the Board of Selectmen for voting to block a medical marijuana facility.


Despite some rain last weekend and on Tuesday, the US Drought Monitor, a NOAA agency, has expanded the area of severe drought conditions to include nearly all of the state except for some portions of southeast Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and part of the Berkshires. (MetroWest Daily News)

A Wellfleet resident has filed suit against the federal government over the ban against kitesurfing along the Cape Cod National Seashore. The ban was put in place to protect nesting plovers. (Cape Cod Times)

State officials granted a seven-month extension for construction to begin on a controversial power plant in Brockton just three days before the deadline for the permit to be issued. (The Enterprise)


Construction on the Wynn Resorts hotel and casino, billed as the largest private construction project in state history, shifts into a higher gear. (CommonWealth) The Everett location, surrounded by a power plant, big box stores, and an MBTA repair facility, is an unusual spot for a $2.1 billion luxury hotel. (CommonWealth)


Five reputed mobsters are arrested in Springfield as part of a nationwide sweep. (Masslive)

Boston police are having trouble getting officers to volunteer for a body-worn camera pilot program and will probably have to assign officers to the effort as a result. (Boston Globe)

Meanwhile, some activists at the meeting reacted negatively to word that the Boston patrolmen’s union has requested more armor equipment and being provided with “long guns” for their patrols. (Boston Herald)


The Texas Tribune aims to take nonprofit journalism to new heights in Texas. (Columbia Journalism Review)