As President Philip E. Austin prepares to be inaugurated
Thursday as UConn's 13th president, faculty and staff, students
and alumni, donors and policy-makers say they are looking forward
to hearing his remarks and learning more about Austin's vision
for the University:
Thomas G. Gutteridge, dean
of the School of Business Administration:
"I expect President Austin to clearly articulate a vision for
the University. And to help set the tone for what's expected of
all of us. The inauguration is not just simply an event celebrating
the installation of another president. He'll be setting the
stage, our norms and values.
"I'd like to see him build
on the strong base that we have here - and it's important to
say that we are already a strong University. I'd like to see
him build on that, to catapult us into the next millennium, to
really achieve the strategic plan that everybody has worked so hard
to codify. I want him to make great strides helping everybody move
down that path."
Tim Weinland, professor of
curriculum and instruction, School of Education, and member of the
"President Austin brings a certain grace and style,
confidence and intelligence that builds confidence and respect for
the campus and the University. He's had a marvelous start and I
hope that would build into the kind of support that we
"The inauguration is basically
a chance for everybody to focus on how leadership can and ought to
function at a university. It's a chance for him to describe his
early impressions and where he hopes to go. It's part of the
Gov. John G.
"Dr. Austin is an impressive individual with an impressive
background. I know he is the kind of leader who can take UConn to
the next level by increasing private donations, overseeing the
UConn 2000 project and developing new partnerships with the private
sector. Dr. Austin can make our flagship university an example for
the rest of the country."
Peter Deckers, dean, School
"I think he is an exceptionally bright and talented
administrator, who clearly is experienced. This is not his first
time at running a major University and that's obvious. He is a
quick study and he does his homework. He understands the problems.
He can articulate not only the problem but his thoughts relative to
solutions quite directly and quite easily."
president-elect of SUBOG:
"My impressions have led me to view Philip Austin as a leader
possessing the knowledge and vision, acquired through his past
university administrative experiences, to change a university for
the better. I think this campus is extremely fortunate to have such
a powerful leader, but the University must also realize that with
vision comes change. Change, especially within this state
university system, requires extra work and
"... I feel that the
inauguration will serve the purpose for which it is meant. The
ceremony should honor the new president as well as allow Austin to
speak on behalf of himself and his administration. An opportunity
such as this is especially appropriate given that Austin has had
six months to assess the main concerns of the University and now
has an chance to address the entire campus, in person, regarding
the goals and a vision relating to these concerns."
Barbara Redman, dean, School
"I have extreme admiration for President Austin based on his
track record in other states and the way he's related to other
constituencies since his arrival here. The clarity of his vision
has been apparent and we have been invigorated by his leadership.
We are newly optimistic about the future of the University as a
"I think the president has
already clearly articulated his vision on many occasions. But the
inauguration gives him an opportunity to get many people's
attention all at once and I think his vision will become even
clearer at that time."
Mana Zarinejad, editor, The
"I'm very grateful University officials have chosen not
to have an extravagant affair. It shows the state we're serious
about watching our limited monies. I'm hopeful, within his
speech, that President Austin will outline his vision of how we can
improve the academics at UConn. Our focus here has been on the
budget problems for the last few years. There's a dire need to
assess our academic needs as well."
Denise Merrill, state
"He brings a very thoughtful perspective to the University.
He has a statewide perspective that is somewhat new for the
University. For years we've talked about how we want the
University to be a resource for the state and to be something that
belongs to all parts of the state. Phil Austin argues that case
convincingly ... He impresses me most because he is very direct and
yet steady. He answers things directly and he has a very forthright
attitude, which is very refreshing when you work in state
Louise Berry, member, Board
I am very impressed with his performance as our new president. He
is an articulate and thoughtful spokesman for the University. He
has a good grasp of the issues facing the institution, and I look
forward to many years of leadership at UConn.
Kirklyn Kerr, dean of the
College of Agriculture & Natural Resources:
"I'm very pleased so far with what President Austin is
trying to accomplish. His primary goal is to sell the University as
a valuable resource to the General Assembly and the rest of the
state. The inauguration is a very important event from the
viewpoint of visibility for the president and the University to the
rest of the state. It's important to let the general public
know about his presidency. The inauguration provides him a forum
for where he thinks the University should go."
Brian Collins, president of
the Undergraduate Student Government:
"I hope what the inauguration does is act as a forum for the
whole University and the whole state to get a look at him, to
listen to what he has to say. People want to hear what he's
been doing and why he's going to do even better in the
Ronald Taylor, professor of
sociology and director of the Institute for African-American
"He should never forget to find ways to stay in touch with
the people here who do much of the work, like faculty and staff. As
he works to protect the interest of and generate resources for the
University he also needs to remember to stay in contact with people
on the ground, so to speak. I think it would be death if he were to
become an anonymous president."
Kathleen Dechant, assistant
professor of management, Stamford campus:
"I'm optimistic about President Austin's potential
and the impact he can have. I believe he sees beyond local
constituencies to the broader environment. I really see him as
extending his outreach to multiple constituencies. I think that
every strong leader needs to have a clear and strong vision to get
people committed to his leadership. If President Austin is to lead
us into the next millennium and beyond, he needs to continue to
articulate his vision for the University."
Robert H. Gray, dean of the
School of Fine Arts:
"I think we have a brilliant president. Thus far, President
Austin has demonstrated strong and informed leadership - exactly
what we need at this extremely complicated moment in the history of
"... There is always some
public confusion about presidential inaugurations in higher
education. While the president is certainly involved in the
occasion, it is actually a University event - a celebration by the
Inauguration - Thursday, April 17, Jorgensen
- 1:30 p.m. All people processing
gather in Jorgensen Gallery for robing.
- 1:45 p.m. Doors open to the
- 2 p.m. UConn Wind Ensemble,
conducted by David Mills, begins welcoming the public.
- 2:20 p.m. Processional
- 2:30 p.m. Peter L. Halvorson,
University Marshal, opens ceremony.
- Singing of the National Anthem by
- Greetings from students, alumni,
faculty and staff, General Assembly, Board of Trustees, Gov. John
- Investiture of the president by
Rowland and trustees chair Lewis Rome.
- Inaugural address by President
Philip E. Austin.
- Singing of the Alma
- Recessional begins.
- 4 p.m. Public reception, Student
Union lobby and patio. Open to the public.