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UConn President Says She's Stepping Down

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst announced on Monday that she will step down next year, at the end of her eight-year contract.
University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst announced on Monday that she will step down next year, at the end of her eight-year contract. Photo Credit: Provided

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst, who has led the university since 2011, announced on Monday, May 21 that she will step down next summer when her current employment agreement ends.

Herbst will have completed eight years of service to UConn.

“Being able to lead this outstanding institution has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life,” Herbst said. “These have been exciting and rewarding years. UConn has continued to rise in the rankings and grow academically as we embarked on transformational new initiatives, formed vital partnerships, addressed long-standing needs, planned carefully for the future, and made difficult but necessary decisions.

“Despite financial struggles because of the state budget, together we have become a stronger, better university,” she said. “UConn is among the finest research universities in the United States and the pride of the state of Connecticut, as it should be.”

Herbst was named UConn’s 15th president on Dec. 20, 2010 and is the first female to hold the position since the school was founded in 1881.

As president, Herbst led the implementation of major state investments in UConn: Bioscience Connecticut and Next Generation Connecticut, both of which were approved by the Connecticut state legislature.

Bioscience Connecticut is an $864 million initiative at UConn Health which allowed for expanded enrollment in the medical and dental schools, building new space for business incubators, creating centers of excellence with neighboring institutions, and more.

Through Bioscience Connecticut, business incubator space at the university doubled.

Next Generation Connecticut is a more than $1.5 billion initiative that has expanded educational opportunities, research, and innovation in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines at UConn, as well as added new faculty in the humanities.

NextGen funded the construction of the new 727-bed Werth residence hall, the new Engineering and Science Building, massive infrastructure improvements, and will fund the renovation of the Gant Science Complex, among other projects.

In the fall of 2012, Herbst announced that UConn would relocate its Greater Hartford campus from suburban West Hartford to downtown Hartford. The new Hartford campus opened in the fall of 2017, incorporating the façade of the former Hartford Times newspaper building. The campus is home to more than 2,300 students, faculty, and staff.

In Stamford, Herbst established a new student residence hall near the main campus building that houses 300 students.

Enrollment in both regional campuses continues to climb.

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