University of Connecticut Trustees have chosen the school’s first woman to be president in the school’s 130-year history. She is Susan Herbst, currently executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for The University System of Georgia. She will take office in July.
She was one of three finalists from among more than 100 applicants for the post, after President Michael Hogan left to take over as president of the University of Illinois. Former President Philip Austin has been serving in an interim capacity.
Board Chair Larry McHugh called her “exactly the kind of highly-qualified individual we set out to find.” He says she has “exceptional leadership abilities, vision, a strong academic background and an in-depth understanding of public higher education.”
Both outgoing Governor Jodi Rell and incoming Governor Dan Malloy met with Dr. Herbst during the selection process and supported her appointment.
In her current position Dr. Herbst leads 15 university presidents and oversees the academic missions for all 35 public universities in Georgia. She was previously provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at SUNY-Albany from 2005 to 2007, and also served as acting president of the school for a year. She also served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University from 2003 to 2005.
Herbst joined Northwestern University as an assistant professor in 198, and became chair of the political science department and associate dean for faculty affairs.
She received her BA in political science from Duke University in 1984 and her Ph.D. in communication theory and research from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications in Los Angeles in 1989.
At UConn she will be paid an annual salary of $500,000 a year, $145,000 of which will be paid by the UConn Foundation. She and her family will live in a home on the Storrs campus known as Oak Hill, which was built in 1940 to be the president’s residence on campus.