University President to Be Inaugurated Amid Academic Pageantry at Faneuil Hall

James McCarthy will speak about future of higher education and vision for the University


James McCarthy will speak about how the intersection of technology, academics and cost will impact Suffolk University and higher education during ceremonies marking his inauguration as the University’s ninth president on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in historic Faneuil Hall.

The inauguration will combine academic pageantry with serious discussion of the future of higher education, specifically as it applies to Suffolk University.

Representatives of colleges and universities from throughout the Northeast wearing full academic regalia will march into Faneuil Hall at 9:45 a.m. to witness President McCarthy’s investiture.

President McCarthy’s speech will focus on Suffolk University’s strategic imperatives to be launched this year.

The president will discuss:


  • Innovative use of technology to complement traditional teaching and hold down costs 
  • Changing the footprint of the Suffolk campus to meet the needs of students and faculty while maintaining good relations with neighbors
  • The opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships provided by Suffolk University’s place in downtown Boston
  • Building on Suffolk University’s history of preparing students for the professions by emphasizing career readiness through partnerships here and abroad


President McCarthy began his tenure at the University in February 2012 and by the beginning of this academic year had completed a strategic planning process that confirms and formalizes the University’s place as a student-centered institution with a commitment to its outstanding teacher-scholars.

He is a sociologist who has worked and conducted research in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States and has published widely on community, adolescent and reproductive health issues. The president holds a PhD from Princeton University, an MA from Indiana University, and an AB from the College of the Holy Cross.

Before joining Suffolk University, President McCarthy served for five years as provost and senior vice president at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He previously was dean of the School of Health and Human Services and professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. President McCarthy served as director of the Heilbrunn Center for Population and Family Health at Columbia University and as the Heilbrunn Professor of Public Health in Columbia’s School of Public Health. He was a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and director of the Hopkins Population Center, and he has engaged in research at Princeton University, the International Statistical Institute London, and Trinity College Dublin.

The president has been engaged in a variety of organizations outside of academia. He is on the board and has served as chair of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a policy research organization in New York and Washington D.C. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Irish Voice named him to the “Irish Education 100” honor roll, which recognizes the 100 top Irish-Americans in U.S. higher education.

The inauguration ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and will include remarks and greetings from public officials; a representative of the greater academic community; and Suffolk University faculty, students and staff.