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May 02, 2013

Board of Regents' Search Committee to Recommend Dr. Gregory W. Gray as Next President

The Search Committee of the Board of Regents agreed today to recommend Dr. Gregory W. Gray to be the next President of the Board of Regents.

The Search Committee of the Board of Regents for Higher Education agreed today to recommend Dr. Gregory W. Gray to be the next President of the Board of Regents, which governs the 17 Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU) — 12 community colleges, four state universities and Charter Oak State College, the state’s only public, online institution.

Dr. Gray is currently the Chancellor of the Riverside Community College District which includes three community colleges, more than 2,000 employees, and an annual credit enrollment that surpasses 100,000. The Board of Regents will formally vote on the recommendation of Dr. Gray and the terms of his contract during the next regularly scheduled board meeting on May 16. Dr. Gray will visit Connecticut over the spring and summer, and officially begin his tenure as president on July 1.

“The selection of a new president is great news for our system and most especially, our students,” said Lewis J. Robinson, Chairman of the Board of Regents and Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. Gray has the academic credentials and experience to lead our system, is a proven fundraiser, and has first-hand experience in the reorganization of higher education institutions. I believe Dr. Gray will be an enthusiastic and effective advocate on behalf of our institutions in front of the legislature, the governor, and across the state as he works to build partnerships that support student success, learning, and workforce development. I look forward to working with him.”

“Dr. Gray is a seasoned academic leader, and I am confident that he has the experience necessary to move this organization forward,” said Philip E. Austin, Interim President of the Board of Regents. “While I was at the University of Connecticut, I was always impressed by the work being done at our state university and community college campuses. But over the course of the last six months, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand, the work being done by our presidents, faculty, staff and students. Our institutions are doing an exemplary job training Connecticut’s future workforce and providing a quality education to our students. With his experience, Dr. Gray will be able to transition seamlessly and ensure our students are prepared for a changing, global economy and fulfilling lives.”

“The Systemwide Advisory Committee took its role in this process very seriously,” said James Barber, Director of Community Engagement at Southern Connecticut State University and Chairman of the Systemwide Advisory Committee. “We were impressed by Dr. Gray’s enthusiasm for this challenge, and his understanding of and commitment to the work of our faculty and staff across the institutions. We believe that he will be a strong leader who can effectively communicate ConnSCU’s vision and mission, engage vested stakeholders and provide a foundation for desired fundraising for the system. We look forward to working with him.”

"Serving as president of a statewide system that encompasses both four-year universities and community colleges is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any higher education leader," said Dr. Gray. "During my visits with the Board of Regents, stakeholders, and the Governor, I was very impressed by the atmosphere of shared pride and commitment to higher education and student success. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of that culture, and I believe my experience in fundraising, organizational leadership, and developing strong academic and workforce partnerships will help add to the successes the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities already have achieved. On a personal note, my wife, Donna, and I are looking forward to coming home. We have very fond memories from my tenure at SUNY and Penn State and visits with family and friends along the Eastern Seaboard."

While searching for a new president, the Regents’ Search Committee was particularly mindful of selecting a candidate with stellar academic credentials and experience, while increasing transparency and accountability on behalf of state taxpayers. If approved by the Board of Regents at their May 16 meeting, Dr. Gray would receive:

Dr. Gray would also receive $25,000 for moving and temporary housing expenses related to his family’s move from California to Connecticut. This money will be reimbursed to Dr. Gray after providing receipts for qualifying expenses. The term of his employment will be three years and the Board of Regents will review Dr. Gray’s performance annually, without contractually stipulated financial incentives.

The Regents’ Search Committee was assisted in this search by the Systemwide Advisory Committee, including students, faculty, staff, union representatives, and representation from the business and industry community. The Systemwide Advisory Committee provided valuable input and suggestions to the Regents’ Search Committee regarding the selection of a new president.