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Who at BC will be held accountable for Belfast Project fiasco?

Sunday’s story about Boston College’s Belfast Project fiasco shows the need not only for an investigation to establish what happened, but for the Board of Trustees to accept its responsibility as a governing body (“Irish oral history project is over, but scars remain,” Page A1, May 18). The project indicates that there is a crisis of governance at the university that only the highest authorities can rectify.

How was it possible that Thomas Hachey, director of the Center for Irish Programs, and the man most responsible for the project, could act almost entirely on his own?

How much did the project cost and how was it funded? Surely, at least one higher authority must have known about this project and authorized it.

To date, nobody at the university has accepted responsibility for a project that has badly damaged the school’s reputation and harmed its prized relationship to both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Is nobody going to be held accountable? That seems a necessary first step to repairing the flawed administrative structures that allowed this train wreck to happen.


Peter Weiler

The writer is professor emeritus of history at Boston College.