Candidates compete to be next BSU President

By Marissa Bean

Comment Staff


The search for a new BSU president is well under way.

There are three candidates up for the position, according to an email sent out on Oct. 20 on behalf of Louis M. Riccardi.

Matthew Jepson, Student Trustee, sits on the Board of Trustees. He said that the board’s vote will be held on Nov. 17. The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education will vote to approve the decision on Dec. 1.

Jepson said that the new president will work with current president Dana Mohler-Faria for the remainder of the academic year to make the transition easier. They will begin their new role on July 1, 2015.

The email from Riccardi also included brief biographies of each candidate.

Frederick Clark, the only internal candidate, is currently Executive Vice President and Vice President for External Affairs at BSU. He previously served as Executive Officer of the Massachusetts State Universities’ Council of Presidents.

According to Riccardi’s email, Clark “is a past Chairperson of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, past Chairperson of the Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees, and a former Vice Chairperson of the Bridgewater State University Foundation.” He currently presides over the John Joseph Moakley Charitable Foundation. Clark has earned a J.D. From Suffolk University and a B.A. in political science from Bridgewater State University. In a separate email, Riccardi said that Clark will take part in a “comprehensive, on-campus interview process” on Nov. 4 and 5.

Dr. Bradley Cook is current Executive Vice President and Provost of Southern Utah University. Riccardi’s email said, “Cook served as President of Abu Dhabi Women’s College in the United Arab Emirates and, prior to that, held the positions of Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Advancement and University Relations at Utah Valley University.”

Cook holds a D. Phil in International and Comparative Education from the University of Oxford, and he has earned an M.A. in Social Science of Education and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. His on-campus interview will occur on Nov. 6 and 7.

Dr. Ashish Vaidya is “currently Special Advisor to the President for Regional Economic Development at California State University, Los Angeles, and previously served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, M.B.A. Director, and Professor of Economics at that institution.” He has held various positions at California State University, Channel Islands.

Vaidya has earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. In economics from the University of California, and has “an M.A. and B.A. in Economics from, respectively, the University of Mumbai and St. Xavier’s College.” His on-campus interview will take place on November 3 and 4.

A fourth candidate, Dr. Cathy Sandeen, withdrew her candidacy on Oct. 27, according to another email from Riccardi. Sandeen accepted the position of Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin.

The process of finding a new president began back in the spring, according to Jepson. The search “began within two weeks of the president giving his public notice” of his retirement, Jepson said. There were more than eighty initial applicants.

President Mohler-Faria also assisted in the search.

“He formed a presidential task force which included faculty, Board of Trustee members, a few students, and they began a nationwide search,” said Jepson.

The task force looked for applicants with previous experience in higher education and administration, according to Jepson.

Jepson is the only student on the Board of Trustees, and he is asking for input from students before the vote next month.

“There’s only one student representative. Students are the only group on campus that are going to have a direct vote, and that’s mine, so I encourage them to email me,” Jepson said. He also encourages students to attend the open forums being held as part of the on-campus interviews for each candidate.

Jepson said, “Students are the only constituents on this campus that have a direct vote.”


Students with input on the presidential search are encouraged to email Matthew Jepson at


Marissa Bean is a Comment staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @MarLaur16.


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