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CCSU Presidential Search

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The Board of Regents for Higher Education has commenced the search process for the president of Central Connecticut State University. The university is one of four state universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.


UPDATE: Dr. Zulma R. Toro Selected as the 13th President of CCSU

A nationwide, months-long search for a new president of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain — one of the 17 institutions of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) — has been narrowed to three finalists. They are:


Dr. Terry L. Allison

Dr. Terry L. Allison Chancellor and Professor of English, Indiana University South Bend
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Dr. Christopher M. Fiorentino

Dr. Christopher M. Fiorentino Interim President, West Chester University, West Chester, Penn.
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Dr. Zulma R. Toro

Dr. Zulma R. Toro Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Professor of Engineering, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

All three candidates will be visiting the Central Connecticut State University campus during the week of September 26. Dr. Fiorentino will visit on Monday, Sept. 26; Dr. Allison will visit Tuesday, Sept. 27; and Dr. Toro will visit Wednesday, Sept. 28. During their visits to New Britain, the candidates will participate in various meetings and events with faculty, students, staff, and community stakeholders.

"The three final candidates bring a range expertise and a strong commitment to public higher education,” said CSCU President Mark E. Ojakian. “We look forward to having productive campus visits that will help us determine the best candidate."

President Ojakian announced the national search in March 2016. The search is conducted by the Regents Search Committee (RSC) with the invaluable assistance of the University Advisory Committee (UAC).

Following the finalists' visits, the RSC will receive the UAC's unranked input in early October, after which, the RSC will make their final selection with ratification anticipated to go before the full Board of Regents on Oct. 20 at CCSU.

Position Advertisement

Download the Position Advertisement (pdf)

The Board of Regents for Higher Education of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) announces the search for the next President of Central Connecticut State University and invites expressions of interest, nominations, and applications.

The new president of Central will join an energetic and ambitious community of creative faculty, dedicated staff, inquisitive students, and passionate alumni, eager to meet the challenges of public higher education in Connecticut and increase Central's effectiveness and reach as one of the state's premier institutions of higher learning. Building on the sustained and successful work of Central's current president, Dr. Jack Miller, the new president will reap the benefits of a history of careful and systematic planning, conservative budgeting and sound financial management, stable enrollments, creative and well-targeted curricular development, an experienced and effective senior leadership team, a well-developed institutional advancement effort, and a dramatic expansion and enhancement of campus facilities.

Founded in 1849 as New Britain Normal School, Central has evolved to become a modern comprehensive university with both undergraduate and graduate programs built on a robust foundation of liberal learning. One of four comprehensive universities of the 17-member Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, Central is the oldest public institution of higher education in Connecticut.

Central's five schools – the Carol A. Ammon College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business (AACSB-accredited), the School of Education and Professional Studies, the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology, and the School of Graduate Studies – offer 100 major programs in over 80 fields of study, including bachelor's and master's degrees as well as several sixth-year professional diplomas and doctoral degrees in educational leadership and nurse anesthesia practice. In recent years, Central has added master's programs in accounting, exercise science, and STEM education, and an MBA.

Central's 12,086 diverse students are taught and mentored by 450 talented full-time and 499 part- time faculty members and are supported by a devoted full-time staff of 531 and a part-time staff of 225, all of whom are true partners in the educational enterprise.

Central's faculty and staff provide a rich educational experience in addition to classroom instruction. Its international study/travel program is ranked by Open Doors as one of the top 40 in the nation among regional comprehensive universities; it is ranked eighth for its faculty-led short-term courses. Twenty-one percent of Central's graduates have had a research experience. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement for Teaching has recognized Central for its high level of community engagement.

The president serves as the institution's chief executive officer, is accountable to the President of the CSCU for the management of the University within Board policy, and works collaboratively with presidential colleagues of the three other universities, the twelve community colleges, Charter Oak State College, and the system leadership to meet state goals The president works in concert with other senior leaders on campus to develop campus policy in support of system objectives, directs the activities of University administrative staff, provides stewardship of University resources, enhances Central's instructional programs, facilitates research and other creative activity, fosters University relations with alumni and the public, and serves as the face of the institution to internal and external constituencies.

Central's next president will be a strong and proven academic leader, who understands the academic enterprise and can make the case for liberal arts education and its integration with professional preparation, and who understands and values the work of faculty in teaching, research, and service. The new president will be able to engender trust from all of Central's constituents—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. This will require someone who is comfortable working with a high degree of transparency and accountability. The new president will also be entrepreneurial and able to recognize opportunities when they present themselves and create them when they don't. A deep personal commitment to diversity, inclusion, and service to the community is essential.

The ideal candidate will have a strong academic background, a history of successful leadership and administration in higher education, an appreciation of liberal arts education within the academy, a history of success in external relations and a demonstrated ability for fundraising, a broad understanding of higher education, skills in financial management and planning, a commitment to shared governance within a collective bargaining environment, a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion, and experience in a public university system.

For further information about this opportunity and instructions to applicants, please visit

For fullest consideration, applications should be received by August 15, 2016. Nominations and inquiries are welcomed and should be directed to:
Robert Holyer, PhD Senior Consultant AGB Search
804-402-6736 (c)

All inquiries, nominations, and applications will be held in the strictest confidence.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education is committed to a policy of equal opportunity/affirmative action for all qualified persons. The Board does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity or expression, disability (including, but not limited to, intellectual disability, past or present history of mental disability, physical disability, or learning disability), genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by Connecticut state and/or federal nondiscrimination laws. The Board does not unlawfully discriminate in employment and licensing against qualified persons with a prior criminal conviction.


CCSU Profile

Download the CCSU Profile
CCSU Profile (pdf - 4MB)


UPDATE: Dr. Zulma R. Toro Selected as the 13th President of CCSU


In accordance with the Board's University and Presidential Search Policy (pdf), the Board of Regents for Higher Education, through the establishment of a Regents Search Committee, has opened the search for the president of Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). CCSU is one of four universities, 12 community colleges, and Charter Oak State College comprising the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.
Position CCSU Profile

The Board of Regents (BOR)

The 21-member Board of Regents (15 voting members) sets statewide tuition and student fee policies; establishes financial aid policies; reviews, licenses, and accredits academic programs; and, in collaboration with institutional stakeholders, conducts searches for and selects presidents.
More about the BOR BOR Presidential Search Policy (pdf)


University Advisory Committee

  • * Lisa Marie Bigelow, Assoc. Director CIE and SUOAF Chapter President - SUOAF representative
  • * Stephen Cohen, Professor, Faculty Senate President, English Department - Faculty Senate representative
  • Stephen Adair, Professor, Sociology Department - Faculty Advisory Committee representative
  • Felton Best, CSU Professor, Philosophy Department - Faculty Senate Representative
  • Wyatt Bosworth, student - -SGA representative
  • LaShanda Dove, Admin. Assistant, School of ES&T –Support Staff/Class Union representative
  • David Lopez, Storekeeper Assistant, Facilities Management – Support Staff/Class Union representative
  • Mary Ann Mahony, Professor, History Department – AAUP representative
  • Brian Nwafor, student, - Student Advisory Committee (SAC) representative
  • Joseph Paige, Assoc. Vice President, Office of Academic Affairs – Management representative
  • John Patrick, Chair, CCSU Foundation Board – Foundation representative
  • Rosa Rodriguez, Chief Diversity Officer & Title IX Officer – CCSU Office of Diversity & Equity representative
  • L. Edward Vescovi, President, Alumni Association – Alumni Association representative
*UAC co-chairs

Regents Search Committee

  • Regents Search Committee
  • Richard J. Balducci, Chair
  • Merle W. Harris, Vice Chair
  • David R. Jimenez
  • Holly M. Palmer
  • JoAnn H. Price



  • CSCU President announces initiation of Search for CCSU President
  • AGB Search engaged


  • Regents Search Committee (RSC) is established
  • AGB Search consultant on campus to conduct listening sessions with faculty, students, staff, Foundation Board representatives, and university president
  • University Advisory Committee (UAC) is established
  • First meetings of Regents Search Committee and College Advisory Committee


  • Development of CCSU profile and position advertisement
  • Search is launched with electronic posting of position advertisement
  • Search consultant begins recruiting candidates and receiving inquiries, applications and nominations


  • Search consultant continues recruiting candidates and receiving inquiries, applications and nominations
  • August 15 - Date for application materials to be submitted in order for candidates to receive optimal consideration
  • Semi-finalists selected


  • Finalists selected
  • September 26, 27 and 28 –on-campus meetings with finalists


  • UAC, via co-chairs, provides unranked input to RSC re finalists
  • RSC develops recommendation for consideration by full Board
  • October 20 - Board of Regents for Higher Education names new president of CCSU