Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
The College of the Holy Cross said today that Reverend Michael McFarland will be stepping down as the school’s president. MacFarland announced his departure at a meeting, then via email to parents, students, faculty and staff. He’s held the position since 2000, and is the longest tenured president at any Worcester Consortium school.
The school will begin a nationwide search for his replacement (joining Worcester State University in the category of local schools looking for leaders).
“It’s actually something that’s been in the works for a little over a year between Father McFarland and the board of trustees,” says a school PR rep. McFarland will stay on to until a successor is named. The search committee has already been put together.
The school is also set to embark on a long-term fundraiser, which they say will last seven to eight years. In those cases, schools generally want a president who will stay on for the duration.
While the Telegram hails last year’s Community Compact to quiet down the partying on College Hill as a “landmark agreement” it should be pointed out that the only person or thing who really seemed to have control over student rowdiness was McFarland himself. As the press, politicians and locals turned up the heat on McFarland and the student body he sent a mass email to everyone defending them from accusations while asking them to tone down their behavior. After that, some change was seen on Friday and Saturday nights.
This also will bring up the inevitable comments from local pols about finding someone to fill the position who will be amenable to forging a PILOT agreement with the City — something McFarland put off because Holy Cross wanted to make sure they got something in return (similar to Clark’s recent deal).