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Oct 12, 2012

Board of Regents Recommends Philip E. Austin to Gov. Malloy as Interim President

The Board of Regents for Higher Education today voted to recommend Philip E. Austin to Governor Dannel P. Malloy as interim president of the board

The Board of Regents for Higher Education today voted to recommend Philip E. Austin to Governor Dannel P. Malloy as interim president of the board, which governs Connecticut’s 12 community colleges, four state universities and Charter Oak State College. Austin previously served as the president of the University of Connecticut from 1996 through 2007, and again as interim president in 2010 and 2011. Austin will serve as interim president until a permanent president is selected.

“I’m so pleased that Phil Austin has agreed to return, once again, to Connecticut’s higher education community to help lead our organization and move forward a change agenda that focuses on meeting the needs of every student in Connecticut by providing an accessible and affordable higher education opportunity to them all,” said Chairman of the Board of Regents, Lewis J. Robinson. “His experience as a faculty member and administrator, both on a campus and in a system office, make him an ideal choice. He has a reputation as a well-known and well-respected member of Connecticut’s higher education community and I know the board is looking forward to working with him on these critical issues. While considering potential candidates, it was brought to my attention that Governor Malloy also believed Phil would be the best person for the job.”

“It’s an honor for me to return higher education in Connecticut, this time to lead the Board of Regents for Higher Education,” said Austin. “The work ahead isn’t going to be easy – change never is – but it’s critically important that we move forward on the issues of college preparedness, career training and workforce development, to support Connecticut’s economy and our state’s residents. I look forward to working with Chairman Robinson, the Board of Regents, the presidents, faculty and staff on the campuses and central office, and our great students.”

Robinson also appointed the members of the Special Committee on Administration, which will immediately begin to gather information to formulate the policies and procedures necessary to govern the Board’s decision making process regarding compensation – including the salary adjustments –and other administrative matters. This committee will be formalized as a standing committee in November, and will use the policies and procedures ultimately adopted by the full Board to review the adjustments and report as to whether or not these adjustments were justified.

The members of the committee include Regents Naomi Cohen (Chair), Yvette Melendez and Michael Pollard.

“It is my hope that the committee’s work will guide and inform the board’s outlook on any number of issues involving the policies and procedures that govern our workplace and our personnel,” said Robinson. “Of course, they will also review and determine the appropriateness of the salary adjustments that were given to members of the staff. This committee has the knowledge, the wherewithal, and the experience to look at these issues with a fine eye toward the sensitivity of human resource and administration issues, the environment in which we’re operating, and an understanding of what needs to be done.”