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February 5, 2019

UConn board appoints Katsouleas 16th president

UConn Photo | Peter Morenus Thomas C. Katsouleas is UConn's 16th president.

With Gov. Ned Lamont looking on, UConn’s board of trustees on Tuesday morning unanimously appointed Thomas C. Katsouleas, a top official at the University of Virginia, as its 16th president.

Katsouleas, 60, will replace outgoing President Susan Herbst, who led the school for the last eight years and plans on returning to the classroom this summer as a professor. He will take office Aug. 1.

His base salary will be $525,000 with a $50,000 performance-based incentive and $75,000 in annual deferred compensation at the end of each year. Katsouleas will also 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.

Thomas Kruger, the board chair for UConn’s 44-member Advisory Search Committee for President, said the group is confident Katsouleas, University of Virginia's provost and executive vice president, will work well with Lamont, state officials, its board members, school faculty and students.

“We were drawn to his vision of what UConn can be,” said Kruger of the six-month search process searching for Herbst’s replacement.

Kruger said Katsouleas surfaced among a diverse field of 215 prospects with a wide variety of educational experience.

Lamont, who supported the search process, said Katsouleas has a “great vision” and "the right experience and grit” to build off the progress generated by Herbst, who was also at the board’s special meeting at UConn’s Storrs campus.

“It reminds me how important the university president is to the future of this state,” Lamont said of the expansive search process. “I am so proud Tom is going to be our next president. I am going to give him all the support I can … because it means so much to the morale and future of Connecticut.”

Katsouleas on Tuesday thanked Lamont, the board, university leaders and other faculty, staff, students and alumni for their support throughout the search process. He called UConn one of the top research school’s in the nation and one of Connecticut’s “most-prized assets.”

Katsouleas said he was drawn to Connecticut because there is a strong bipartisan consensus among state leaders that education is worth investing in. He also listed growing research at UConn as one of his top priorities, in addition to ensuring the priorities of the university are aligned with those of the state.

Katsouleas will arrive to UConn with more than 35 years of experience in education.

Previously an investor and researcher, Katsouleas served 14 years teaching at the University of Southern California before being appointed as dean of Duke University's engineering school for seven years. He became provost, which is the chief academic officer, at the University of Virginia in 2015.

Katsouleas was recently a finalist for the presidency at the University of Utah.

He earned a bachelor's degree and Ph.D in physics from UCLA in 1979 and 1984, respectively.

A CT Mirror report contributed to this story

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