Board Names Presidential Search Advisory Committee

The advisory committee will interview final candidates and share their evaluations of them with the Board of Trustees, which is ultimately responsible for voting to name the president.

UConn wordmark.

The UConn Board of Trustees today approved the composition of the advisory committee that will assist the board in selecting UConn’s 16th president as part of a national search. The Advisory Search Committee for President will be comprised of 44 members and will be led by Board Chair Thomas Kruger.

“Our goal was to ensure that the advisory committee is as broad-based and diverse as possible, reflecting UConn Nation’s many stakeholders and constituencies,” said Kruger. “The views of every member will be considered, as each brings their own unique perspective and experiences to the table. Leadership matters a great deal at an institution of this size and complexity, and the president we name will have an enormous impact on the University and its future. I look forward to working with my follow advisory committee members as we undertake this important process.”

He also announced the selection of Isaacson, Miller Inc., an executive search firm, to support the search process. Isaacson, Miller is one of the country’s premier search firms, with over 36 years of experience in recruiting senior leaders for institutions of higher education, including presidential searches for numerous colleges and universities.

The advisory committee will meet shortly to discuss the proposed search timeline and the ideal qualifications, qualities, and experience of potential candidates. It is anticipated that Isaacson, Miller will spend the summer and early fall building a pool of candidates, with interviews taking place during the fall. The advisory committee will interview final candidates and share their evaluations of them with the Board of Trustees, which is ultimately responsible for voting to name the president.

Kruger stated that the goal would be to name the next president in late 2018 or early 2019. Under that proposed timeline, he said the board would seek the support of both outgoing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, as well as that of the incoming governor, who will be elected this November and will take office in January 2019. The governor of Connecticut is the ex-officio chair of the board. The board took the same approach in 2010 when it sought and received the support for hiring UConn’s current president, Susan Herbst, from then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Gov.-Elect Malloy.

The search process remains confidential throughout to help attract as many highly-qualified candidates as possible.

“We are seeking candidates who are highly accomplished leaders, with a comprehensive understanding of and appreciation for the value of public higher education in Connecticut and throughout the nation,” said Kruger. “UConn is a major, highly-ranked research university with a global reputation for exceptional teaching, research, and service. It has a powerful and transformative impact on the lives of our students, patients, the state of Connecticut, and society as a whole.

“Our ideal candidate will be an individual who can build on the extraordinary success UConn has achieved, working effectively with the governor and General Assembly as well as our faculty, staff, students, donors, fans, alumni, and private sector partners,” Kruger said. “Our goal is to do all we can to ensure UConn’s trajectory remains upward, and the next president will play a central role in helping to achieve that ambition.”

The search is being managed internally by Rachel Rubin, the University’s chief of staff and executive secretary to the board, and Michael Kirk, deputy chief of staff.

During the meeting, Kruger noted that he has asked that Isaacson, Miller hold meetings with members of the campus community who are not on the advisory committee but who wish to provide input on the search. The firm will also hold open forums for faculty, staff, and students in early September on the subject.

“There will be ample opportunity for any member of the community to participate in a meaningful way,” he said.

For questions, nominations, and applications, please visit:

Advisory Search Committee for President

  1. Thomas Kruger (Chairman of the Board of Trustees/Search Committee Chair)
  2. Lawrence McHugh (Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus/Business Community)
  3. Dennis Nayden (Trustee)
  4. Andy Bessette (Trustee)
  5. Thomas Ritter (Trustee)
  6. Andrea Dennis-LaVigne (Trustee)
  7. Sanford Cloud (Trustee)
  8. Shari Cantor (Trustee)
  9. Daniel Toscano (Alumnus, Foundation Board Chair)
  10. Mark Shenkman (Alumnus, Former Foundation Board Chair)
  11. Gladis Kersaint (Dean of the Neag School of Education)
  12. Kent Holsinger (Dean of the Graduate School)
  13. Kazem Kazerounian (Dean of the School of Engineering)
  14. Bruce Liang (Dean of the School of Medicine)
  15. Mark Overmyer-Velazquez (Director, Hartford Regional Campus)
  16. Nicole Gelston (General Counsel)
  17. David Benedict (Director of Athletics)
  18. Maria Martinez (Assistant Vice Provost/Institute for Student Success)
  19. Joann Lombardo (Governmental Relations)
  20. Mark Boyer (Faculty – Geography)
  21. Micki McElya (Faculty – History)
  22. David Yalof (Faculty – Political Science)
  23. Michael Bradford (Faculty – Dramatic Arts)
  24. Rajesh Lalla (Faculty – UConn Health/Dental Medicine/Oral Medicine)
  25. Juan Salazar (Faculty – UConn Health/Medicine/Pediatrics)
  26. Brenton Graveley (Faculty – UConn Health/Genetics and Genome Sciences)
  27. Cathy Schlund-Vials (Faculty – English/Asian and Asian American Studies)
  28. Angela Rola (UCPEA – Director, Asian-American Cultural Center)
  29. Sulin Ba (Faculty – Business)
  30. Mei Wei (Faculty – Engineering & Materials Science)
  31. Kevin Claffey (AAUP – UConn Health, Medicine/Cell Biology)
  32. Carol Polifroni (AAUP – Storrs, Nursing)
  33. William Garrity (UHP – UConn Health)
  34. Ama Appiah (Undergraduate Student, President of the Undergraduate Student Government)
  35. Mary Bugbee (GEU-UAW/Graduate Student)
  36. Hedley Freake (Senate Faculty – Nutritional Sciences)*
  37. Carol Atkinson-Palombo (Senate Faculty – Geography)*
  38. Pam Bramble (Senate Faculty – Art & Art History)*
  39. Nancy Bull (Senate Faculty – Department of Extension)*
  40. Gary English (Senate Faculty – Dramatic Arts)*
  41. Jaci Van Heest (Senate Faculty – Education)*
  42. Debra Kendall (Senate Faculty – School of Pharmacy)*
  43. Veronica Makowsky (Senate Faculty – English)*
  44. Derrik Kennedy (Town Manager, Town of Mansfield and Alumnus)

*Faculty members of the University Senate Executive Committee who are members of the advisory committee per the bylaws.