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Susan Herbst becomes first female president of U. of Connecticut

University of Connecticut
December 20, 2010
The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees today voted to appoint Susan Herbst as UConn’s 15th president, following an intensive six-month search. Herbst is currently the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for The University System of Georgia. She will begin at UConn in July and will frequently be in Connecticut starting in January, to meet and work with President Austin and UConn’s constituencies as part of the transition process.

Herbst is the first woman to be selected as the University’s president since the school’s founding in 1881.

“Susan is exactly the kind of highly-qualified individual we set out to find when this process began in June,” said Larry McHugh, chairman of the Board of Trustees, who led the search committee. “She has exceptional leadership abilities, vision, a strong academic background, and an in-depth understanding of public higher education. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead and effectively work with all of the University’s stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as federal and state officials – including incoming Gov. Dannel Malloy.”

There were more than 100 applications for the position. Herbst was one of three finalists considered by the 40-member search committee and the Board of Trustees. Both Gov.-Elect Malloy and outgoing Gov. Jodi Rell met with Herbst and strongly support her appointment.

“Susan is dynamic and energetic and will be an outstanding leader for the university community for years to come,” said Gov. Rell. “An accomplished scholar, Susan is also down-to-earth and personable. It’s a new day at UConn and she represents the new face of enthusiasm, energy and excellence. She will bring a new vision and she will lead UConn into the top tier of public research universities.”

Gov.-Elect Malloy said, “I’m very pleased with the choice. UConn is one of Connecticut’s best assets and its president needs to be an effective leader, a strategic thinker, and a skilled communicator. It’s clear that we have found that in Susan.

The University is a critical engine for the state’s economy and our workforce,” Malloy added. “An invigorated UConn goes a long way to creating a more economically healthy Connecticut. I look forward to working closely with Susan and the board as she takes the reins and leads the University forward.”
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