Katsouleas prepares for first semester as university president 

UConn’s new president is preparing himself for the Fall 2019 semester, which included meeting some UConn students and an introduction to Jonathan the Husky.  Photo by Judah Shingleton, Senior Staff Photographer/The Daily Campus

UConn’s new president is preparing himself for the Fall 2019 semester, which included meeting some UConn students and an introduction to Jonathan the Husky. Photo by Judah Shingleton, Senior Staff Photographer/The Daily Campus

Dr. Thomas Katsouleas, who began his term as the University of Connecticut’s 16th president on Aug. 1, is readying himself for his first semester as head of the university. 

Katsouleas, who served as Vice President and Provost at the University of Virginia until his hiring at UConn, received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California-Los Angeles in 1984, and has pursued STEM-related projects and careers ever since.

Katsouleas is also listed as a fellow in two scientific research organizations: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Physical Society, according to the Hartford Courant.  

The president is a leading plasma researcher and engineer and has over 250 academic publications, according to UConn Today. He said his goal as UConn’s president is to double research initiatives within the next seven to ten years, through facility and faculty investments. 

“The state has invested billions of dollars in capital infrastructure over the last couple of decades,” Katsouleas said in an interview with UConn Vice President for Communications Tysen Kendig. “In terms of recruiting new faculty, that is a wonderful currency to attract wonderful colleagues to come and join us and build on the strength and excellence that we have.” 

In the last few weeks, Katsouleas has hosted numerous coffee hours with students at The Beanery, a tradition he intends to continue throughout his tenure, according to the Courant

Katsouleas was chosen out of 200 applicants after a six-month search, according to UConn Magazine. He was appointed by the Board of Trustees in February.  

“I’m honored and humbled to be appointed president of the University of Connecticut, one of the most outstanding public research universities in the nation and one of Connecticut’s greatest assets,” Katsouleas told the board upon his appointment. “I want to thank you for placing your confidence in me. I will spend each and every day working to justify that confidence and meet your expectations in the years ahead.” 

Katsouleas has already been introduced to Jonathan the Husky, the university’s resident good boy and mascot of over five years. The video of the greeting was posted to the university’s Instagram page on Aug. 1.  

“I couldn’t be more excited to start my presidency at UConn,” Katsouleas wrote in an Instagram post earlier this month (@preztomkat). “Students, I’ll see you in a few short weeks.” 


Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at taylor.harton@uconn.edu.