UHart President Search

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A four-year, private, residential, comprehensive university with seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford seeks an energetic, visionary, transformational leader to serve as its next president.

Poised to pursue a new future

UHart seeks a president who embodies the passion and innovative spirit fueling its trajectory.

students cheering at game

Since its founding, UHart has been innovating and adapting to meet the needs of students and society. It has long offered a rich mixture of outstanding programs—from business, electronics, engineering, technology, and education to music, the visual arts, and the arts and sciences. In recent years, UHart has invested in its future by launching many new and in-demand academic programs, including nursing, aerospace engineering, business analytics, robotics, data science, occupational therapy (master’s), computer science (master’s), animation and game art, and digital media and journalism. There are increased online offerings and newly created ventures in corporate programming, professional certificates, and combined or accelerated degree programs. The University transitioned its athletics program to NCAA Division III status, which has resulted in a surge of new applications from student-athletes.

UHart Start—the University's five-year strategic action plan—was launched in 2020 to guide UHart’s efforts through 2025 to transform the institution, ensure excellence, and sustain success. In recent years, the University has raised $75 million through impactful fundraising and many new partnerships. The undergraduate and graduate classes entering in fall 2023 exceeded enrollment goals by more than 10 percent; these encouraging numbers capped off three consecutive years of increases in applications and admitted students.

Our momentum has never been greater.

Search Committee

The Presidential Search Committee is chaired by Regent Michael Daglio ’91, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hartford HealthCare (HHC). Daglio has long been engaged with UHart personally and professionally, as an alumnus and local business leader at HHC, one of the largest health-care systems in New England and a generous partner of the University.

Daglio is leading a diverse group of University constituents in an inclusive process, soliciting feedback from the campus community and stakeholders, and evaluating potential candidates who best align with UHart’s culture and long-term vision. The committee plays an essential role in stewarding an intensive, transparent, and nationwide search that prioritizes the University’s values and mission.

UHart has played such a prominent role in my life and helped me pave the way for the career I have today. I’m happy to be able to pay it forward to the University community in this new and significant way.''

Michael Daglio ’91, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Hartford HealthCare

Estimated Timeline

October–December 2023

Active recruitment of candidates

February–March 2024

Interview process

April 2024

Official announcement of UHart's next president. In July 2024, UHart's seventh president begins.

nursing lab

Hursey Center

Home to Innovation

Open since fall 2021, the Francis X. and Nancy Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions provides modern, fully equipped labs and classrooms emphasizing hands-on learning to build students' skills and confidence for successful careers.

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students walking across bridge

UHart's Commitment to DEIJB

An Inclusive Community

The University is deeply committed to ongoing efforts to create and cultivate a welcoming campus climate that is inclusive, and a community where students, faculty, and staff feel supported, safe, and valued.

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SBD program

Scholarships Help Students Soar

New and Growing Scholarship Programs

Programs like our Stanley Black & Decker "Be a Force for Good" not only provide scholarship support to our students, they provide mentorship and early career opportunities to help them succeed at UHart and beyond.

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Seven Schools and Colleges. Endless Possibilities.

With seven distinctive schools and colleges, the University of Hartford offers students a rich, diverse, and comprehensive educational environment. UHart offers more than 100 undergraduate and 46 graduate-level degree programs, eight associate degree programs, and 40 certificate and diploma programs. 

students in lab

College of Arts and Sciences

UHart’s largest college, offering 23 programs, is home to a world-class faculty that includes mathematicians, philosophers, psychologists, and social scientists. Its rich interdisciplinary environment promotes collaboration and engagement across diverse perspectives.


Barney School of Business

Recognized for its ever-evolving curriculum, tangible learning opportunities, and innovative Career Ready program. Barney School majors span from accounting and finance to management and marketing; graduate programs include an MBA and a master’s program in business analytics.


College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions

ENHP has a customized curriculum that prepares students for a wide range of careers and post-baccalaureate programs in the education and health professions. Students are actively engaged in their field well before graduation.

aerospace classroom

College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

CETA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering, engineering technology, and architecture. Students benefit from small class sizes, hands-on courses and laboratories, and an extensive partnership network.

recording studio

The Hartt School

A conservatory-based performing arts school, Hartt offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate degree programs and pre-professional training in music, dance, and theatre. Students are taught by faculty who are performing artists, composers, scholars, recording engineers, and performing arts managers.

drawing outside

Hartford Art School

A professional art school on a comprehensive campus, HAS provides students with the foundation to succeed in areas such as drawing and painting, ceramics, visual communication design, illustration, photography, and art history.


Hillyer College

Hillyer views students for who they are: individuals with unique backgrounds, perspectives, and learning styles. The opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach to college, Hillyer has its own Study Center, dedicated faculty, accessible advisors, and personalized advising plans.

Unique Campus. Ideal Location.

Surrounded by green spaces and wooded trails, UHart's 350-acre campus runs alongside Connecticut's capital city of Hartford and its crossroads with the vibrant towns of West Hartford and Bloomfield.

Only two hours from both Boston and New York City, our central location provides plenty of opportunities to fully explore New England’s vibrant culture, cities, beaches, and mountains. In Connecticut’s capital city, you can cheer on the Hartford Yard Goats in downtown’s nationally recognized baseball stadium, visit local museums, catch a Broadway show or performance, and grab dinner at award-winning restaurants. Hartford also has all the diverse professional opportunities of a big city. UHart’s proximity to the capital means big possibilities. The University has forged relationships with many different companies and organizations, making internships and other professional options readily accessible to students.

Fundraising & Partnerships

The University has benefited from consistent, sustainable growth in both alumni engagement and fundraising. Corporate philanthropy has increased significantly over the past several years, with a concerted effort to identify and cultivate strategic partnerships that can help with career readiness, graduate enrollment, and philanthropy. UHart has strong partnerships with regional companies such as Stanley Black & Decker, Hartford HealthCare, Pratt & Whitney, Hartford Steam Boiler, Cigna, CVS/Aetna, and others.

Impact by the Numbers

  • 8,354

    Total Gifts in FY22

  • $147M

    Endowment Market Value (as of June 30, 2023)

  • $12.9M+

    Total Giving

  • 1,519

    Rosen Society Members—our most dedicated supporters who have made gifts for five or more consecutive years.

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At UHart, the Division of Student Success takes a holistic approach, recognizing that student success is based on a unique blend of academic, social, personal, and professional needs. First year students will seamlessly transition to UHart with support from the Center for Student Success.

Our Future Leader

UHart's next president is expected to build community and trust through visible, effective interpersonal engagement; ensure the fulfillment of the University’s mission, values, and vision; and strategically manage its operations and resources while setting a future, innovative direction for the institution to ensure sustained success. Reporting to the Board of Regents, the president will have responsibility for a budget of more than $165 million and provide leadership for a senior cabinet.

The next president will be expected to address the following interconnected priorities:

Lead the University to a vibrant future:

In the face of demographic shifts, competition for resources, and the recent national economic, political, and public health challenges, all of which impacted enrollment and morale, UHart is forging ahead with measures to achieve success. The University is actively engaged in efforts to rebuild a culture of respect and engagement; strengthen enrollment; enhance revenue; expand philanthropic giving; reduce and manage costs; and increase efficiency. UHart has been buoyed by positive developments in enrollment, student retention, housing, and fundraising and is now in an excellent position to build on its history of innovation and success to reimagine its role in the region and the higher education landscape. UHart seeks a president who will inspire the entire community to continue this work while ensuring UHart operates in a financially sound and sustainable manner.  

Align resources with strategy:

The University's strategic action plan, UHart Start, was launched in 2020 to serve as a guide through 2025. The next president will want to evaluate the plan and set the stage for a new set of strategic priorities that builds on UHart’s assets with a transformative vision for the University's role in the region and in the future of higher education. In an environment of resource constraints, the next president will also need to work collaboratively and transparently with all constituents to engage them in rethinking the strategic utilization of resources and establishing mutually agreed-upon key performance metrics and incentives that will maximize impact and benefit the entire University.

Foster an environment of trust and respect:

Faculty and staff are passionate about UHart. This is represented in multigenerational families of alums; long tenures among faculty and staff; and faculty and staff whose family members attend UHart. After several years of financial challenges and the controversial decision to move athletics from Division I to Division III, the community seeks a president who can foster an environment of positive morale, respect, and recognition for all members of the community. An important aspect of this will be addressing faculty and staff compensation equity and parity. Following the work of a Faculty and Staff Compensation Committees, supported by the work of Willis Towers Watson, an adjustment to staff salary ranges was implemented in May 2023, and an adjustment to new full-time faculty minimums was implemented in August 2023. Dependent upon institutional finances and other factors, decisions on additional increment or merit pools will be determined later this year. Beyond compensation, the community seeks the president's active engagement with, interest in, and celebration of the individuals who call UHart home. The incoming leader must approach change and decision making with a combination of empathy, transparency, and decisiveness while building a supportive and integrated community where faculty, staff, and students can work and thrive together as one University. Doing so will require patience, goodwill, inclusive leadership, visibility, and consistent and clear communication to all UHart constituencies.

Build on UHart's history of action and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice:

The University of Hartford has actively committed to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice since its founding and has a history of enrolling, employing, and supporting a broadly diverse community of learners, scholars, and staff. The president will be expected to continue this legacy in thought, word, and deed.

Leverage UHart's academic programs:

UHart is proud of its distinct academic programs, with seven schools and colleges that offer more than 100 undergraduate and 46 graduate degree programs spanning a wide range of disciplines in the arts, sciences, and business, among others. Some programs, like acoustical engineering and music, can be found at no other university in the country. In establishing a vision for UHart's future, the president will consider how to continue to advance innovative, interdisciplinary opportunities that will leverage UHart's dynamic array of programs while meeting the needs of students and their future employers.

Generate revenue:

UHart's president plays a principal role in building relationships and partnerships that will attract philanthropic and other resources to advance the UHart mission. The president will commit sufficient personal time and energy to friend raising, fundraising, and stewardship. Finally, the new president is expected to actively participate in a more intensive outreach to UHart's more than 80,000 alumni throughout the United States and world to raise their awareness of—and connection and giving to—the University.

Deepen relationships with the greater Hartford community and beyond:

UHart's location in Connecticut’s capital city is a strength and distinction. Centrally located between—and only two hours away from—New York City and Boston, UHart's green and wooded campus runs alongside the city of Hartford at its crossroads with the vibrant towns of West Hartford and Bloomfield. UHart remains invested in the diverse and exciting city whose name it bears, including advancing relationships with different companies and organizations. As the face and voice of the University, the next president will need to convey to all constituents a clear and enthusiastic commitment to UHart, possess knowledge of its strengths and potential, and have the ability to communicate these strengths to others. The president must be able to navigate the local and state political landscape and build positive working relationships with elected officials. The president must broaden bridges to the extended Hartford community by engaging actively with the business, nonprofit, and government sector to identify opportunities that will benefit the community and contribute to the socioeconomic development of the city.  

The University of Hartford seeks a president who embodies UHart's mission and values and demonstrates the dynamic leadership qualities, financial expertise, and exceptional team-building skills that will enable the University to succeed. The ideal candidate must have experience making effective decisions in a complex organizational environment and catalyzing success through the strategic deployment of resources. The president must model UHart's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. A PhD or other terminal degree is preferred. In lieu of a terminal degree, candidates must have a demonstrated record of successful executive leadership and comparable credentials and/or experience sufficient to warrant the respect and confidence of the academic community.

The ideal president will be further distinguished by the following competencies:

Leadership, Strategy, and Vision

  • Strategic, visionary, inclusive, and transparent leadership style
  • Ability to forge and implement a bold and purposeful vision for the University's potential
  • Proven experience driving effective change
  • Ability to build buy-in and balance focus on near-term and long-term strategic priorities
  • Natural inclination and ability to build a talented, high performance, collaborative leadership team

Administrative Experience and Competencies

  • Expertise with financial and budgetary models
  • Deep understanding of the financial challenges facing higher education
  • Ability to make difficult choices
  • Facility with data-based decision making
  • Creative approach to problem solving
  • Ability to capitalize on opportunities to generate fresh revenue streams 

Transparent Communication and Culture

  • Ability to inspire a culture by effectively conveying mission and core values
  • Evidence of fostering a culture of mutual trust, transparency, and collaboration
  • Understanding of and ability to successfully achieve mutual goals in a shared governance environment 

Donors and Alumni Relations

  • Experience with and ability to advance a robust culture of philanthropy among UHart donors
  • Experience cultivating relationships, securing philanthropic resources, and practicing effective stewardship
  • Ability to effectively use and involve the University's vast alumni network, both locally and nationally
  • Expertise and skill to engage in a comprehensive capital campaign

Personal Qualities

  • Impeccable character, accountability, integrity, ethical behavior, honesty, forthrightness, authenticity, and humility
  • Commitment to and ability to advocate for academic excellence and student success
  • Genuine curiosity about and willingness to engage with a broad range of individuals
  • Personal courage and conviction to lead a campus through challenges
  • Motivation and dedication to institutional success
  • Outstanding relationship-building skills
  • Experience working closely and collaboratively with a governing board and establishing a partnership of mutual trust and communication

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or résumé with a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile.

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Hartford in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by December 8, 2023.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

The University of Hartford is an open and welcoming community, which values diversity in all its forms. In addition, the University aspires to have its faculty and staff reflect the rich diversity of its student body and the Hartford region. Candidates committed to working with diverse populations and conversant with multicultural issues are encouraged to apply.

Students Walking on Campus

Further Reading

To see the full President Profile, access the document below. Nominations and inquiries can be sent to WittKieffer via email.