President Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq.
Frederick W. Clark Jr., Esq., is the 12th president in the 175-year history of Bridgewater State University, his alma mater. A dedicated leader in public higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, President Clark’s appointment to the presidency was the seminal moment of a long and distinguished association with the university.
Like many of the students who come to Bridgewater State University each year, President Clark represents the first generation in his family to attend college. President Clark graduated from Bridgewater State in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He continued his education at Suffolk University Law School, where he received the degree of Juris Doctor in 1986.
President Clark’s commitment to public service was shaped at an early age by his family and grew exponentially when he worked for Congressman John Joseph Moakley in various capacities, including district director, legal counsel and Washington liaison officer. A cornerstone of President Clark’s work was his instrumental role in helping the congressman secure a $10 million federal grant in 1991 to build a technology center on the Bridgewater State campus. At the time, it was the largest federal grant ever bestowed on a public college in the nation.
His commitment to Bridgewater State continued to grow in his role as a member of the Board of Trustees and, ultimately, as its chairman. During the first decade of the new century, President Clark served as vice chairman of the Bridgewater State University Foundation, and over that time, it realized its first-ever successful endowment campaign.
Meanwhile, his efforts on behalf of the Massachusetts Public Higher Education system, which comprises 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five University of Massachusetts campuses, intensified when he was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve as chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. In this role, President Clark visited all 29 campuses within the system as he worked to optimize the effectiveness of public higher education in the state. While on the board, President Clark led the transition of the Office of the Board of Higher Education to the Department of Higher Education, directed the successful search for the department’s first commissioner, provided leadership for expansion of transfer and articulation reform, and facilitated the development and release of the first-of-its-kind Campus Violence Prevention Report for public higher education.
Perhaps his greatest impact on the state university system came during his nearly decade-long tenure as executive officer of the Massachusetts State Universities Council of Presidents. He was a catalyst in the planning and strategy that led to the renaming six of the nine state colleges to state universities in 2010. His efforts in that office also fostered collaboration and cooperation among the three segments of public higher education in the commonwealth. He worked tirelessly to ensure the state university system received its fair share of state funding, including federal stimulus, capital construction and state funds.
In 2011, he returned to Bridgewater State University as its new executive vice president and vice president for external affairs. In the dual role, President Clark enhanced student success on a number of fronts. He worked to create hundreds of paid internships for BSU students; developed, staffed and implemented a number of programs to provide college access to at-risk youth; and coordinated student success efforts for at-risk college students.
He strengthened international engagement at Bridgewater State University from establishing a Global Village Learning Community at Weygand Hall to creating innovative study abroad collaborations for BSU and all public higher education students throughout the region. He has represented the university at high-level academic and governmental meetings in Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Japan, Jordan, Kurdistan/Iraq, Morocco and Turkey, and has created geopolitically important partnerships for BSU around the world, resulting in 45 -- and counting -- partnerships.
Regionally, President Clark co-led the establishment of a satellite campus for Bridgewater State University on Cape Cod and has been collaborating with colleagues from the University of Massachusetts Boston and Massasoit Community College to develop a public higher education consortium in the City of Brockton. He launched the Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement to work with municipalities and nonprofit agencies. He has been a key convener of regional economic development and workforce development conferences and forums, and has led successful business outreach efforts that have strengthened relationships with organizations such as Ocean Spray, Covidien, A.D. Makepeace Company, Eastern Bank, Meditech, TD Banknorth, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual Insurance, General Dynamics, HarborOne, Depuy (Johnson and Johnson), Claremont Companies, Bridgewater Savings, South Shore Bank, Siemens Technologies, Santander Bank and Sysco, among others.
He serves as president and co-founder of the John Joseph Moakley Charitable Foundation, Inc. Since its inception, the foundation has awarded $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to assist public service-oriented organizations and scholarship recipients.
President Clark’s professional development has included the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management; the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges; and American Association of State Colleges and Universities (legislative and public affairs). In addition, he has given numerous presentations and has received many awards for his work.
President Clark was born and raised in Brockton and lives in Easton with his wife Carrie Kulick-Clark, ’85, whom he met while they were students at Bridgewater State. They have two sons, Justin, ’14, and Derek, and a daughter, Reilly.