• Doug Most

    Associate Vice President, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 12 comments on Robert A. Brown, BU’s 10th President, to Retire after 2022–23 School Year

  1. Given his long-serving role as Boston University president and his stated commitment to generosity and student aid, I would hope as an alumnus with a salary of $1.2 million he would make charitable donations to the school that asks the same yearly from its student alumni, should be doable.

    1. He’s not an alum. He will be a former employee and president emeritus. He may or may not choose to give financial support, but not because of having graduated from BU … because he didn’t.

  2. I had the opportunity to work directly with President Brown a number of years ago. I saw his leadership in action and it left a deep imprint on me.
    BU—faculty, staff and students— are fortunate to have had such a wise and principled President for nearly two decades.

    Congratulations Dr. Brown and may you bask in the well-deserved accolades that will come your way this year.

  3. Like any president of a major university, Dr. Brown’s legacy will be mixed.

    On the positive side, he brought financial stability to the university and actively engaged the generosity of alumni (in a manner that predecessors have struggled to do). He also significantly increased the number of faculty, brought in some high-profile hires, and fought to protect free speech on campus.

    On the negative side, he introduced and encouraged a heavy-handed top-down management style that filtered all the way down and, in many ways, broke the traditional academic model where faculty (and not administrators) make fundamental decisions for the university. This also manifested in inappropriately coercive COVID policies (following the lead of other universities) and distinctly anti-academic DEI diktats that accompanied a significant increase in administrative bloat on campus.

    American universities are undergoing a fundamental (and, in my view, distinctly negative) transformation towards dogma and ideological correctness. I hope that the next leader of BU will return the university
    to its roots as a place of open inquiry and discussion among a heterogeneous population (diverse politically, economically, socially, and in terms of thought).

  4. A great leader and a good communicator. Harvard’s President Lawrence Bacow is also stepping down this year. I do not believe his tenure was marked with similar successes as our own President’s, and I do not believe the letter that arrived from the Senior Fellows of Harvard College was as thoughtfully composed. Also, do not forget that President Brown came aboard after the fiasco of Dan Goldin’s hire and then dismissal. At that time, BU was termed “radioactive” by a major University watchdog group. President Brown came on at that time and distinguished himself. Perhaps not all levels of University employees are as thrilled as I with his oversight of this University, corners I’m sure were crimped, but from the every-day, boots on level, he did a fine job, most certainly with covid initiatives and leadership. Gook luck moving forward Sir!

  5. Alas, a bitter/sweet milestone to be sure! The BU Today retrospective is appropriately elaborate and impressive, but, out of necessity, it can only scratch the surface of course. Dr. Brown righted an enormous ship, replaced its aging compass, turned it 180 degrees, and set it on a successful course toward previously unattainable horizons. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with and for President Brown for many years and he never ceased to amaze me with his capacity, commitment, capability, and insight, particularly with respect to the competence of the BU leadership team he built over the course of his tenure, enhancing the University’s capabilities geometrically. As a result, while BU will surely be diminished without him, I have every confidence that his successor will continue to carry this great University forward toward even brighter horizons ahead. We thank and salute you Captain and wish you and your enterprise bonne chance and bon voyage!

      1. But down the road, when things again may cry for a calming and brilliant hand, dare I suggest President Brown II? His type of leadership never goes out of fashion.

  6. Congratulations to President Brown for his contributions to Boston University. I hope he enjoys a well-deserved retirement.

    I have a suggestion for after Brown retires. Bring in an interim president for a short time after Brown is gone. Then after Kenneth Elmore gets a year or two experience as president at Dean College, bring him back to BU. When Elmore was an employee at BU, he was extraordinary at creating good vibes and stories at BU and he is an alumnus. Also, he is outstanding at fundraising. Under Elmore, the percentages of donations for each senior graduating class were very high. He would willingly jump into the Charles River to get more engagement from the students. No one is perfect and I’m sure naysayers could find something they don’t like about Kenn, but he has the charisma, personality, administrative and leadership experience. He knows how to connect with students, alums, faculty, and staff. Brown put BU at the top of the rankings. Someone like Kenn could weave a personal story around BU and send the school up even higher. If Kenn isn’t available, then find someone like him.

  7. My sister goes to B.U.
    Go terriers ❤️
    I wish Mr. Brown all the best in this next chapter of his life! He seems like a great man. Thanks for your service

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