Suffolk University is now on its sixth president in six years. At the end of July, Margaret McKenna was fired abruptly amid turmoil, ahead of her planned departure in Fall of 2017. McKenna says she plans to fight the termination, telling the Globe she was cut off early for not communicating with the board about university accreditors, not providing information properly, and meeting with the Globe in February.

This news came after a long investigation into allegations from former public relations executive George Regan that McKenna used Suffolk funds inappropriately and abused staff. After firing McKenna with virtually no explanation, the university now has the task of finding their next president, amidst a public relations nightmare.

According to Former Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville, it’s time to follow the money. “It’s unfortunately a downward spiral for the institution,” he told Boston Public Radio Thursday. “As we’ve talked about before, I think if you’re a parent, if you’re a donor, if you’re an alum, this really gives you pause about how this institution is being run, and has been run over time.”

Suffolk University has a history of controversy when it comes to money. Former President David Sargent made $1.5 million, one of the highest salaries among university presidents nationwide.  “The board has not exercised their fiduciary responsibility, they did not exercise their responsibility for managing and leading this institution over time, and I’m afraid if it goes on much longer, somebody’s going to have to blow the whistle on it and question their non-profit status, because they don’t seem to be taking the full responsibility for it,” said Reville.

According to Reville, because Suffolk is a private institution, it’s generally viewed as outside the public domain, yet it operates under the licensure of the Commonwealth. The university’s private status hasn’t stopped Attorney General Maura Healey from stepping in. Last February Healey’s office sent a strongly worded letter to the University board, following a probe that Healey launched to look into turmoil surrounding McKenna’s ousting in February. Months ahead of McKenna’s scheduled retirement date, Reville says it’s time for Healey to step in again.

“I direct my question to the Attorney General at this point,” he said. It’s not that it’s illegal to fire a president, but in the context of successive turnover, most of which is generated by a board that's letting people go, there are some legitimate questions that have to be asked as to whether they have earned the privilege of ongoing not-for-profit status.”

To hear Reville’s full interview with BPR, click on the audio link above.