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Barry Brown


Barry Brown is the eighth President of Mount Ida College. He was unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees in February, 2012 after a year-long presidential search. A highly regarded professor, higher educational administrator and lawyer, Brown brings a deep-rooted commitment to excellence in higher education.

During his term as President of the College, the student body has grown from 1100 to over 1500 students who study in four schools: Applied Science, Business, Design and Humanities and Social Sciences. During the same period, Mount Ida received its largest gift, an $8 million donation. In addition, the College has invested over $30 million in new facilities and restoration of historic structures on its beautiful Newton campus.

Previously, Barry Brown served in the combined roles as Acting President and Provost of Suffolk University from 2008 to 2012. These appointments followed a university teaching career of over 35 years at Suffolk Law School in which he taught courses in Property Law, Land Use and Finance, Biomedical Law and Public Policy and Professional Responsibility.

In his role as Acting President, Brown successfully undertook major refinancing of Suffolk University’s $300 million debt, restructured the University’s central administration and established the Office of Student Access and Opportunity for acquiring and funding major federal grants. Brown was also responsible for initiating community action programs such as Upward Bound and the McNair Fellowships. He was responsible for the University’s major development campaigns, including the 300,000 square foot property at 73 Tremont Street which houses the University’s library and administration.

In the public sector, Brown held the post of Assistant Bar Counsel for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court when that agency was founded in 1974. During his term as first Assistant Bar Counsel, Brown prosecuted a number of important cases related to the conduct of lawyers, including the reinstatement of Alger Hiss.

Brown is widely published on topics ranging from biomedical law to real estate and condominium law. He is one of the first to be published in national scholarly journals on the topic of property rights in genetic materials, including the frequently cited article entitled: Reconciling Property Law with Advances in Reproductive Science, in the Stanford Journal of Law and Public Policy. He is the founder of Suffolk University’s concentration in health and biomedical law and the nationally recognized, Suffolk Journal of Health and Biomedical Law.

In the private sector, from 2000 until 2008, he was Senior Counsel to the national law firm of Holland & Knight focusing, upon commercial real estate and finance.

A life-long resident of Newton, Massachusetts, Brown received an A.B. from Harvard College and Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Brown has been involved with a variety of charitable and professional organizations, including the Massachusetts Pre-paid Legal Services Board, the Board of Directors of the Samaritans, and the Board of Directors of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce.

Brown resides in Newton with his wife Ellen Shapiro Brown, Deputy Court Administrator for the District Courts of Massachusetts. They have two children, Ethan, a physician and fellow in neurology at UCSF in San Francisco and Jenny who is a producer and executive with a major advertising, media and public relations firm in Boston.