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Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts Elects New Board Members, Suffolk University President Marisa J. Kelly as Chair


June 9, 2022

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts Elects New Board Members, Suffolk University President Marisa J. Kelly as Chair

Marisa J. Kelly, president of Suffolk University, has been elected chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICU Mass) for the 2022-2023 term. Robert Johnson, president of Western New England University, will serve as Vice-Chair, while Mary-Lou Retelle, president of Anna Maria College, will continue to serve as Secretary and Treasurer.

AICU Mass also welcomed five new members who were elected to join the Board this year: President Brent Chrite of Bentley University; President Steven DiSalvo of Endicott College; President Aisha Francis of Ben Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology; President Maud Mandel of Williams College; and President Glenn Sulmasy of Nichols College. All appointments became effective on June 1, 2022.

“AICU Mass, particularly over the course of the pandemic, has been a critical forum for advancing impactful collaboration amongst private colleges and universities to the benefit of not just our institutions and our students, but also the Commonwealth and our various communities,” said President Kelly. “I am excited to be part of this ongoing work.”

“President Kelly’s leadership has been an invaluable resource to AICU Mass as vice-chair this past year, and over the coming year we look forward to continuing to build on the collaborative spirit that has come to define AICU Mass’ work,” said AICU Mass President Rob McCarron. “AICU Mass is fortunate to have an engaged Board of Directors that helps amplify the innumerable contributions of the private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Massachusetts. I look forward to working with Presidents Kelly, Johnson and Retelle, along with new Board members Presidents Chrite, DiSalvo, Francis, Mandel and Sulmasy, as AICU Mass continues to provide opportunities for collaboration and partnership, while advocating for our members and their students, faculty and staff.”

Kelly is the eleventh president of Suffolk University, having been appointed president in March 2018, after serving as acting president for 20 months. President Kelly joined Suffolk University in 2014 as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, where she focused on advancing academic excellence for students throughout Suffolk University. President Kelly received an undergraduate degree from California State University as Sacramento, a Masters degree from San Francisco State University and a PhD from the University of Kansas.

President Kelly succeeds William James College President Nicholas A. Covino, who will step down as Chair of the AICU Mass’s Board, but will continue to serve as ex-officio.

“Nick Covino’s tenure as Chair of AICU Mass will be remembered for his thoughtful leadership in guiding our institutions through the second year of a global pandemic. In addition, Nick was instrumental in helping AICU Mass create new programs to support our members in their efforts to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion, while tirelessly leveraging his life’s work in mental health to advocate for additional resources and support for students on campus,” said McCarron. “I am delighted that Nick will continue to serve the Board this year.”

The 2022-2023 AICU Mass Board of Directors is comprised of the following presidents:


Chair: Marisa Kelly, Suffolk University
Vice-Chair: Robert Johnson, Western New England University
Secretary/Treasurer: Mary-Lou Retelle, Anna Maria College

Board Members:

Brent Chrite, Bentley University
Nicholas Covino, William James College (ex-officio)
Steven DiSalvo, Endicott College
David Fithian, Clark University
Aisha Francis, Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
Lily Hsu, Laboure College of Healthcare
Ronald Liebowitz, Brandeis University
Maud Mandel, Williams College
Howard Purcell, New England College of Optometry
Glenn Sulmasy, Nichols College

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM) was founded by independent college presidents and today comprises 60 degree-granting, accredited independent colleges and universities in the Commonwealth. It is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts. AICUM plays a critical role in advocating for college affordability, including state and federal funding for need- based student financial aid, federal research support and addressing state and federal legislative and regulatory issues.



June 13, 2022