Higher Education Symposium

2019 Agenda

Registration and Breakfast
Session 1

Mergers and Acquisitions in Higher Education

This panel will discuss the issues and challenges of mergers and acquisitions in the higher education space. The topics will include diligence exercises, regulatory oversight and approvals, dealing with debt, employment issues, etc.


  • Rich Doherty – President, Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM)
  • Bruce Figueroa – National Leader, Nonprofit Banking, People’s United Bank
  • Erika Geetter – General Counsel, Boston University
  • Jonathan Green – Deputy Chief, Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
  • Mat Sibble – Partner, Goodwin
Session 2

GDPR and Privacy/Cybersecurity Update

This panel will discuss the latest privacy and cybersecurity developments that every institution of higher education needs to be aware of. We expect a lively and interactive discussion with a focus on GDPR and trends in cybersecurity.


Sessions 3


The False Claims Act in the Context of Research Misconduct Investigations

This panel will focus on the False Claims Act and the intersection of the False Claims Act with research misconduct investigations. Can a university be liable under the False Claims Act based on the research misconduct of one of its faculty or non-faculty researchers? What is the scope of potential exposure?  Should a university self-report to the government possible false claims that become apparent in the course of a research misconduct investigation?


  • Roberto Braceras – Partner, Goodwin
  • Jason Baletsa – Counsel, MIT’s Office of the General Counsel
  • Ellen Berkman – University Attorney, Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel
  • Heather Quay – University Attorney and Administrative Coordinator, Harvard’s Office of the General Counsel
Lunch + Keynote Speaker: Carlos E. Santiago

The Equity Imperative: Why Massachusetts Must Close Racial & Geographical Opportunity Gaps in Higher Education

Who gets the benefits of a college degree in Massachusetts? The latest data from the Department of Higher Education shows a gap of 43 percentage points in the degree attainment rates of white females and Latino males. Such inequities are not only a matter of social justice, argues the state’s Higher Education Commissioner, Carlos E. Santiago, but they are also an economic concern, given demographic changes that pose enrollment challenges for institutions and hiring challenges for high-skilled industries. In this year’s Higher Education Symposium, Santiago will outline the action plan for closing gaps that spell trouble for a state whose economic fortunes depend on a large and reliable supply of college graduates.