The University of Connecticut has named a noted scientist and engineer with a long academic history to serve as its 16th president.
Thomas C. Katsouleas was unanimously selected by UConn’s Board of Trustees at a special meeting on Tuesday, concluding an extensive, six-month national search. The former executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia will officially take over in Connecticut on Aug. 1.
Katsouleas has been at Virginia since 2015, and previously worked as the dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. He was chosen out of more than 200 applicants who sought the position, which is being vacated by President Susan Herbst after eight years.
The University said Katsouleas plans to spend “significant time in Connecticut in the coming months to prepare for the job,” working with Herbst to ensure a smooth transition for students and faculty alike.
Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Kruger said that the selection committee was drawn to Katsouleas’ vision for what the future of UConn can be.
“We are confident in Tom and his ability to work closely and effectively with our Governor, the board, the General Assembly, our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and donors. He knows the vital role UConn plays in the life of our students and faculty, and for the economy, workforce, culture, and communities of our state,” he added. “We are pleased with our choice, and we are excited about it.”
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont was quick to express his support for Katsouleas, whom he will be working closely with.
“Tom’s reputation is one of advocacy and relationship-building, a key attribute for the president of our flagship university,” he said. “I look forward to connecting him with business leaders, our agency commissioners, members of the nonprofit and advocacy community, and others as we work toward a Connecticut that is forward-thinking, strategic, and welcoming to new graduates, businesses, and entrepreneurs alike.”
University of Virginia President Jim Ryan said that “the University of Connecticut has made a fantastic choice.”
“I am excited for Tom as he takes on this next challenge,” he said. “For the past four years, Tom’s responsibilities have been both vast and varied, and he has handled them with grace and kindness. Tom has also been incredibly generous to me over the past year, and it has been a joy to work with and learn from him. I look forward to watching him make an even bigger difference in his new role.”
Katsouleas will earn a base pay of $525,000 with a $50,000 performance-based incentive and $75,000 in annual deferred compensation at the end of each year. In addition, he will have housing at Oak Hill, the president’s house, access to the university’s house on Scarborough Street in Hartford, a car allowance and $125,000 in a deferred payment after five years.
“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 Trustees on Tuesday. “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 said that one of his highest priorities will be to grow research at UConn, including making strategic investments in faculty and facilities with the “goal of doubling research over the next seven to 10 years.
“Good public universities are pillars supporting their state – serving its needs and supporting its economy,” he added. “Great flagship universities with their satellite campuses and partners, including state and community colleges, are the crown jewels of the state – uplifting the mind and spirit not just of their own students, but of the surrounding communities and the entire state.”
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