Dear Members of the Suffolk Community,
In my ongoing efforts to keep you apprised of the work the Board of Trustees is doing on behalf of the University, I want to share some information on the leadership and makeup of the Board's standing committees. As stipulated in the University's Bylaws, which are posted on the website, there are eight committees and two subcommittees that support the work of the Board. These committees allow us to divide work among smaller groups and bring focused expertise to bear in specific areas in order to better advance Suffolk University's goals and objectives.
The eight standing committees and two subcommittees are as follows:
- Administration and Finance Committee
- Investment Subcommittee
- Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee
- Compensation Committee
- Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
- Committee on Trusteeship
- Academic Affairs Committee
- Student Affairs Committee
- Corporate Governance and Bylaws Committee
- Committee for Advancement and Development
Below are summary descriptions of each committee's responsibilities as well as some biographical information on the committee chairs.
Administration and Finance
This committee is responsible for considering and making recommendations to the Board on matters pertaining to operating and capital budgets; tuitions, fees, and enrollment. The Committee shall have the authority to approve the construction, renovation, and maintenance of buildings and grounds; investment, reinvestment, and management of all investment assets of the Corporation; and financing transactions.
The Administration and Finance Committee is chaired by John Fernandez. John has been a member of the Board since 2011. He is president and CEO of Massachusetts Eye and Ear. John serves as the chair of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals and is a member of the Controlled Risk Insurance Company/Risk Management Company (CRICO) Board, and the American Association of Eye and Ear Centers of Excellence.
This subcommittee is responsible for advising the Administration and Finance Committee on how best to invest and reinvest the funds of Suffolk University.
The Investment Subcommittee is chaired by Tara M. Taylor. Tara has been a member of the Board since 2009. She is a managing director for FX Sales and Trading Business Management at State Street Global Markets. Tara earned an MBA from Suffolk University in 2000. She has served as president of the Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management Alumni Board and is a 2012 recipient of the Suffolk University Alumni Service Award.
Buildings and Grounds (Subcommittee)
This subcommittee is responsible for considering and advising the Administration and Finance Committee with respect to the planning, expansion, disposition, or development of buildings and grounds and the maintenance of the existing facilities.
The Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee is chaired by Patrick F. Jordan, III. Pat joined the Board in 2016. He is the chief operating officer for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system. Pat earned an Executive MBA from Suffolk's Sawyer Business School in 1996, has been a mentor to students and alumni from the public administration mentor program, and serves on the Suffolk University Alumni Advisory Board and the Sawyer Business School Healthcare Administration Advisory Board.
This committee is responsible for establishing a charter and ensuring, under the direction of the president, the ongoing development and review of a system of job descriptions, job classifications, salary ranges, and performance reviews. The Compensation Committee has the responsibility for considering and advising the Board of Trustees on Suffolk University's systems and procedures for executive development. The Compensation Committee also will periodically review the salary of employees who hold positions of significant management responsibility and consider changes proposed by the president.
The Compensation Committee is chaired by Mark E. Sullivan. Mark has been a member of the Board since 2011. He is of counsel at the law firm of Nelson Mullins. He previously served as the vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Bose Corporation before his retirement in 2016. At Bose, he oversaw the Corporate Legal Department as well as the Intellectual Property Group. Mark is an alumnus of Suffolk University Law School, having earned a JD in 1979.
Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee
This committee is responsible for assisting the Board in monitoring the integrity of the financial statements of Suffolk University, compliance by the University with legal and regulatory requirements, and the independence and performance of its internal and external auditors. The committee also is responsible for the formulation of policies and procedures for the avoidance of trustee conflicts of interest and will monitor potential conflicts of interest and periodically provide a report to the Board.
The Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee is chaired by J. Robert Johnson. Bob has been a member of the Board since 1991. He is the chair and founder of Yankee Marketers, Inc., a food service sales and marketing firm representing major food manufacturers throughout New England. Bob holds two Suffolk University degrees, a BS in Management and Accounting earned in 1963 and an MBA in Marketing received in 1968. He has taught business administration courses at Suffolk University and in 1989 received the Outstanding MBA Alumni Award.
Committee on Trusteeship
This committee is responsible for nominating highly qualified and committed individuals to fill vacancies among the charter trustees and will invite recommendations for trustees from the entire Suffolk University community. Among other responsibilities, this committee shall have the responsibility (a) for ensuring that a program for the orientation of new Trustees is implemented and maintained, (b) for reviewing the performance of Trustees nominated for re-election, (c) after consultation with the Board chairperson for reviewing the ongoing performance of any Trustees, (d) to periodically recommend to the Executive Committee initiatives by which the performance of the Board of Trustees shall be assessed and enhanced.
The Committee on Trusteeship is chaired by The Hon. Amy L. Nechtem. Amy joined the Board in 2016. She is chief justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, and served as an associate justice in Essex County for 13 years prior to her appointment as chief justice in July 2014. Amy is the past president of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), the country’s leading voice for women jurists committed to diversity and equality in the system of justice. She continues to serve on national committees addressing issues of human trafficking, women’s rights in prison, juvenile justice focusing on equality for girls in detention, strategic planning for NAWJ and immigration challenges affecting youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Amy received a JD from Suffolk University Law School.
Academic Affairs Committee
This committee and the president of Suffolk University are responsible for considering and making recommendations to the Board on appointments of deans of the schools and for faculty promotion, tenure, sabbatical, and other academic appointments, and in general monitoring our progress in advancing our educational mission. Also, in conjunction with the president, the AAC shall consider and present to the Board of Trustees recommendations of persons deemed worthy of being awarded an honorary degree from Suffolk University's College of Arts & Sciences, the Sawyer Business School, and the Law School.
Student Affairs Committee
This committee is responsible for considering and making recommendations to the Board relating to Student Affairs with advice and consultation with the president and the provost. Its responsibilities also include working with the dean of students and the Athletic Department.
The Student Affairs Committee is chaired by Jill S. Gabbe, a member of the Board since 2007. Jill is a senior adviser in the areas of health and higher education to Finn Partners, the sixth largest global independent public relations firm, based in New York City. She is also an executive producer of CITIZENARTS, a creator of programming in the form of entertaining educational documentaries, theatrical works and books. Prior, she was partner/chief creative officer of gabbegroup, a public relations and marketing firm, overseeing award-winning programs and campaigns for leading corporations and institutions. A member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the premier organization for senior communications professionals, Jill has guest lectured at numerous corporations and universities. Jill earned a BA from Suffolk University in 1973, and an MA from Villanova University in 1974.
Corporate Governance & Bylaws Committee
This committee will, from time to time, propose changes to the Bylaws and Conflict of Interest Policy to reflect the needs of the University. The committee also will, from time to time, review best practices at like colleges and universities and make suggestions and recommendations to the Board relating to and concerning the management of the Board and Suffolk University.
The Bylaws and Corporate Governance Committee is chaired by E. Macey Russell. Macey has been a member of the Board since 2011. He is a partner at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, where he practices in the area of major commercial litigation and cochairs the firm's Diversity Committee. Macey served as chair of the Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission and is a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He also is a member of the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America; president, director, and founder of The Boston Leadership Development Foundation Inc.; and founder, president, and chairperson of The Reaching Back Foundation Inc. of Boston. Macey received a JD from Suffolk University Law School in 1983.
Committee for Advancement and Development
This committee is responsible for considering and advising the Board and the Executive Committee on current activities and future planning in Suffolk University's fund-raising, public relations, federal, state, city, and community relations, publications, and alumni relations.
The Committee for Advancement and Development is chaired by Maria DiPietro. Maria joined the board in 2016. She is a retired vice president for global operations shared services at General Electric where she held many senior leadership positions and was a GE company officer. Through 2015, Maria was based in London, where she was responsible for leading a Europe-wide transformation program to increase GE’s competitiveness by creating organizational models focused on driving commercial competitiveness while simplifying organizational structures. She returned to the United States and was based in Norwalk, Conn. Maria also was co-chair for the GE Women’s Network. She holds two Suffolk University degrees, a BS in Business Administration and an MBA.
In addition to the standing committees, the bylaws also call for an Executive Committee, which in times between Board meetings, and with some exceptions, can act on behalf of the Board in matters that don't require a full Board vote. I chair the Executive Committee, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
I thought it was important that all members of the Suffolk community understood the structure and responsibilities of these committees and the background of the committee chairs. In future communications, we will provide additional updates as to committee membership, committee and board initiatives, and, of course, the presidential search. Please know that I am working with President Marisa Kelly on multiple ways (emails, meetings, events, attending classes, etc.) to communicate on a regular basis on institutional activities. I welcome any ideas you might have as to how I can improve communications in the future.
Thank you for your continued interest and support for this vital university.
Robert C. Lamb, Jr.
Chairman, Board of Trustees