After a six-month search with more than 200 applicants, Thomas C. Katsouleas, a leading plasma scientist and engineer with deep academic roots in teaching and research, has been appointed the 16th president of the University of Connecticut by UConn’s Board of Trustees. His term begins Aug. 1, 2019.
“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 Board upon his appointment. “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, who is currently executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia, comes to Connecticut with the endorsement of Gov. Ned Lamont.
“UConn is a vital piece of Connecticut’s economic engine, and I look forward to working with Tom in ensuring that the University and our state’s economic development team, large corporations, small businesses, and start-ups alike are working together to help develop a pipeline of talent and an environment that supports business development and economic growth,” said Lamont. “Tom’s reputation is one of advocacy and relationship-building, a key attribute for the president of our flagship university. 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.”
Katsouleas’ wide portfolio of responsibilities at Virginia complement the work he will take on at UConn, with both schools featuring a rich array of academic degree programs, large academic medical centers, competitive NCAA Division I athletics teams, and esteemed professional schools.
A Conversation with Thomas C. Katsouleas
UConn Hall of Presidents
“Tom is clearly the right candidate at the right time to lead UConn forward, and we are delighted he has decided to come to Connecticut,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas Kruger. “He has a deep and comprehensive understanding of what makes a major research university work and what success looks like. We were drawn to Tom’s vision of what the future of UConn can be and how we as a University can work with the Governor and his administration to help support the Governor’s economic vision for the State.”
Among his many goals at UConn, Katsouleas expects to focus strongly on supporting innovation, enhancing the University’s connections with alumni and philanthropic supporters, and capitalizing on the state’s investments to aggressively expand UConn’s impact on the economy and innovation.
“One of my highest priorities is to grow research at UConn. That means making strategic investments in faculty and facilities with the goal of doubling research here over the next seven to 10 years,” he said. “Good public universities are pillars supporting their state — serving its needs and supporting its economy. 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. That is what we are here to do, and I’m incredibly proud to contribute to that mission.”
Katsouleas has been known at past universities to scoot across campus on his personalized skateboard and explore the surroundings by motorcycle.
“I look forward to bringing to the UConn presidency an ambitious agenda, a lot of energy, and my skateboard,” he said. —stephanie reitz