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Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick expresses concerns about fairness of UMass presidential search

 
The Boston Globe
 
November 22, 2010
 
Two leaders of the University of Massachusetts board of trustees plan to meet with Governor Deval Patrick today to try to assure him of the fairness of the selection process for a new university president, amid concerns from the governor that a former member of Congress has an inside track to get the job.

Former US representative Martin T. Meehan, now chancellor at UMass Lowell, has emerged as a leading candidate to succeed president Jack M. Wilson, according to sources familiar with the search.

UMass board chairman Robert J. Manning and trustee James J. Karam, who is heading the search committee, called for the meeting with the governor after learning that Patrick’s staff raised concerns about Meehan emerging as a favorite, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Patrick is mindful of the political damage he suffered last year when he tried to place another politician, state Senator Marian Walsh, into a high-paying job at a state authority, people familiar with the UMass search said.

“The governor wants to make sure the decision is defensible,’’ said one person familiar with the search who is close to Patrick. “It’s in his best interest and the public’s interest that it is an ironclad process.’’
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