Gov. Ned Lamont recently met with University of Connecticut presidential search committee chair Thomas Kruger and two finalists for the school’s next president, as the committee narrows its list of potential candidates.
“The presidential search remains underway, with no decisions made at this point,” UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “UConn hasn’t discussed specifics of the search, including numbers of applicants and finalists.”
Colleen Flanagan, a senior adviser to the governor, told the Connecticut Mirror that Lamont and Kruger discussed the selection process’ next steps in their Jan. 17 meeting.
Lamont spokesperson Lacey Rose echoed Flanagan’s statement, telling the Hartford Courant that the governor began interviewing candidates after Jan. 9.
The governor feels very strongly that UConn must play a vital role in his plan for the economic rejuvenation of the state, and as such, he is taking his responsibility to select the next president of UConn very seriously,” Flanagan said to the Mirror.
Rose said Lamont is looking for a candidate who shares his commitment to building strong relationships with the business community and legislators on both sides of the aisle, and who will “partner with both students and faculty to improve UConn’s significant successes and national reputation.”
“The Gov-elect will prioritize those who bring creative and outside the box thinking to the role of president and who recognize the importance of innovative partnerships that will strengthen the pipeline to good paying jobs- both in existing industries and attractive new growth industries,” Rose said to the Courant.
President Susan Herbst announced in May that she would be stepping down from her role at the end of the spring 2019 semester. After her announcement, the 44-person search committee comprised of faculty, alumni, deans and trustees was formed.
In a statement on the search committee website, Kruger said the committee is 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.
“UConn is a major, highly-ranked research university with a global reputation for exceptional teaching, research and service,” Kruger said. “It has a powerful and transformative impact on the lives of our students, patients, the state of Connecticut and society as a whole.”
Sixth-semester political science major Kylee Dostie said she hopes UConn’s next president takes the concerns of the university community seriously.
“I’m hoping that the next president continues to protect undocumented students, and helps to allocate funds for research opportunities particularly to the social sciences,” Dostie said. “We are underfunded and do not receive as many opportunities as the STEM students, and it hurts us quite a bit.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.