THE ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN MASSACHUSETTS
AICU Mass provides a public voice on key matters that concern private independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. We advocate for increased funding for need-based financial aid programs, economic and workforce development support, incentives for college savings programs, additional funding for research and innovation and to protect the tax-exempt status of nonprofit colleges and universities.
Established in 1967 by college and university presidents, AICU Mass is the leading voice on public policy issues affecting independent higher education in Massachusetts. The association comprises 59 degree-granting, accredited, independent (private) colleges and universities across the commonwealth. We work closely with member institutions to promote increased awareness of the significant contributions that colleges and universities make to the cultural, economic, and knowledge-based reputation of Massachusetts.
WHO WE ARE
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS & MEMBERS 2022-2023
President, Suffolk University
President, Western New England University
MARY LOU RETELLE
President, Anna Maria College
President, Bentley University
NICHOLAS COVINO (ex-officio)
President, William James College
President, Endicott College
President, Clark University
President, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
President, Laboure College of Healthcare
RONALD D. LIEBOWITZ
President, Brandeis University
President, Williams College
President, New England College of Optometry
President, Nichols College
AICU MASS STAFF
Rob McCarron was appointed president and CEO of AICU Mass on June 1, 2021. Mr. McCarron joined AICU Mass in July 2006 and previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining AICU Mass, Mr. McCarron served as Director of Legal Affairs for the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means (2003-2006) and as Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts House Joint Committee on the Judiciary. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. McCarron was counsel for MetLife Auto & Home Insurance Co., and from 1994 to 1999, he was an associate at Finneran, Byrne & Drechsler, L.L.P.
Mr. McCarron received his bachelor of arts degree in business/management from Clark University (1988) and his Juris Doctor cum laude from Suffolk University Law School (1993).
Vice President for Government Relations
Bradley Freeman joined AICU Mass in June 2012 and serves as Vice President for Government Relations. Mr. Freeman previously served as Associate Director for O’Neill and Associates, where he provided government relations services to state and federal clients. Prior to working for O’Neill and Associates, Mr. Freeman served as a Regional Field Director in New Hampshire for former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign and as a legislative aide to State Representative Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge).
Mr. Freeman received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Providence College.
Vice President for Communications
Sonya Hagopian rejoined AICU MA in August 2022 as vice president for communications, having served in a similar role from 2007-2012.
Most recently, Ms. Hagopian served as chief communications officer for Christie Campus Health, a privately held start up that provides mental health resources for colleges and universities and their students. Prior to that, she served as vice president of public relations and corporate communications at Tufts Health Plan, where she was responsible for internal and external communications; crisis and issues management; social media; community sponsorships and executive communications.
Ms. Hagopian received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Boston College.
Vice President for Administration and Member Relations
Kaitlyn Pires serves as Vice President for Administration and Member Relations for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICU Mass). In addition to strengthening the existing relationships with AICU Mass’ 59 members, she manages AICU Mass’ affiliate membership program, serves as event planner for all of AICU Mass’ events and ensures that AICU Mass remains operationally sound.
Ms. Pires received her master’s degree in public administration, with a nonprofit management concentration, from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School. She also has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Curry College.