The Suffolk University Board of Trustees has named Norman R. Smith president of the University, effective September 1, 2014. Smith, who most recently served as president of Dowling College in New York, succeeds outgoing President James McCarthy, who is leaving to pursue consulting and business opportunities.

Smith will continue the Suffolk University mission of developing student potential to create successful graduates and will help the institution reach the next level of excellence.

Smith has a proven track record of dramatically improving institutions of higher education. He is widely credited with engineering one of the greatest college transformations in the history of American higher education as president of Wagner College.

“We are both excited and fortunate to have Dr. Smith leading Suffolk University during this critical period,” said Andrew Meyer, chair of the Suffolk University Board of Trustees. “Our actively engaged board gave close examination to the issues facing the University and our most valued assets—our students—and we believe that Dr. Smith is the right choice at the right time. Dr. Smith will take immediate action to leverage Suffolk’s strengths as we work to adapt Suffolk University to continue to prepare our students to compete in today’s changing and challenging world. He is uniquely suited to continue the board’s ongoing plan to build on Suffolk’s long and rich history of academic excellence and to help transition the University into a dynamic center for higher education in the years to come.”

As a member of the inaugural management team of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Smith has a deep knowledge of the Boston area. He also earned his doctorate at Harvard and served there as assistant dean of two Harvard graduate schools, Education and Government. He also is a member of the Registry for College & University Presidents, a nationally regarded organization providing veteran presidential leadership. Smith's career has included the founding chancellorship of Alamein University in Egypt preceded by the presidencies of Richmond The American University in London (England) and of Wagner College in New York. He is president emeritus of Wagner College. His book, Top Tier, cited as a Book of Note by the Council of Independent Colleges, chronicles his years at Wagner. What College Trustees Need to Know, co-authored with George J. Matthews, chairman emeritus of Northeastern University, and Bryan E. Carlson, president of the Registry for College and University Presidents, was published in 2013.