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April 4, 2024

University of Hartford names new president

Contributed Lawrence P. Ward

The University of Hartford has named a new president. 

Lawrence P. Ward, who is currently vice president for learner success and dean of campus life at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, will become UHart’s seventh president on July 1. 

He will succeed Stephen Mulready, who has served as acting president since the retirement of Gregory Woodward last summer.

At Babson, Ward has played a central leadership role in shaping institutional priorities and strategic plans, according to UHart. 

“Following an extensive and comprehensive search process, the University’s Board of Regents was unanimous in our decision that Larry Ward is the right leader to steward the University of Hartford’s continued evolution and success,” said UHart Board of Regents Chair Donald Allan Jr., who is also CEO of Stanley Black & Decker.. “The Board and I want to thank Acting President Stephen Mulready for his selfless service as our interim president in this challenging post-COVID period for higher learning institutions. He is a great example for our students in giving back throughout a successful career. He has strengthened our foundation this year, and we are ready to keep building to new heights for the benefit of our students, region, and state.”

Ward’s appointment comes as UHart has faced financial challenges coming out of the pandemic.

The school last year had to hire an independent advisory firm to recommend ways to shore up its financial position, after failing to meet the debt service coverage ratio required for over $100 million in bonds used for campus improvements and other purposes.

It has responded by implementing budget reforms and making other changes. 

In a statement, Ward said: “From my first interactions with the search committee and throughout the selection process, I felt a very strong connection and enthusiasm for the University and this extraordinary academic community. I am energized by our strategic opportunities for growth and confident in our ability to navigate the challenging landscape of higher education, while maintaining a relentless commitment to student success.”

Before his time at Babson, Ward served as associate dean for academic programs at American University’s Kogod School of Business in Washington, D.C. He also previously served as managing director at PRS Inc., an organizational development consulting firm, and as a health care account executive for Aetna.

He holds multiple leadership positions in higher education, including as a member of the NCAA Board of Governors, chair of the NCAA Division III Management Council, and trustee at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. 

Ward earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut, his master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Michigan, and his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds a faculty appointment in the Graduate School of Education.

Ward and his wife, Katerie, an elementary school teacher, are both from the greater Hartford area and they have two children.

Last week, UHart appointed two new deans to its academic leadership team, including a new leader of its business school.

The new academic leaders include Aarti S. Ivanic, who has been appointed to lead the Barney School of Business, and Josie Brown, who has been named dean of Hillyer College and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Ivanic succeeds Carmen Cotei, who has served as interim Barney School of Business dean since May 2023. Mulready previously led the business school.

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