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April 3, 2024

Top UConn Hartford campus leader finalist for Mass. college president job

HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, dean and chief academic officer of UConn’s Hartford campus (left), and Pamir Alpay, UConn’s vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship, outside the XL Center in downtown Hartford.

The top leader of the University of Connecticut’s Hartford campus has been named a finalist for the president’s job at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts.

Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, dean and chief administrative officer at UConn’s Hartford campus, is one of four candidates being considered as the next president of Fitchburg State University, located in Fitchburg, Mass.

Fitchburg State, which has 6,440 undergraduate and graduate students and 191 full-time faculty, has planned public forums for each candidate, giving students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders an opportunity to hear from each potential president. 

Overmyer-Velázquez is scheduled to speak at a public forum scheduled for Wednesday, April 17.

Other finalists for the job include: 

  • Karim Ismaili, executive vice president and provost at Bridgewater State University. 
  • Donna Souder Hodge, vice president of operations and advancement at Colorado State University, Pueblo. 
  • Michael Godard, provost at Southeast Missouri State University. 

Overmyer-Velázquez was named the leader of UConn Hartford in 2017, the same year the $150 million satellite campus debuted in the former Hartford Times building. 

He currently oversees about 3,600 students, 400 faculty and staff, undergraduate classes from 36 departments, and graduate programs in five disciplines.

A history professor, Overmyer-Velázquez earned his Ph.D. at Yale University in Latin America and U.S. Latinx history.

He recently talked to the Hartford Business Journal about UConn’s plans to add student housing in downtown Hartford

Current Fitchburg State University President Richard Lapidus announced that he will step down from his post after the current academic year. 

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