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New director at Waterbury

by Sherry Fisher - July 24, 2006

William J. Pizzuto, interim director of the Waterbury campus since 2004, has been appointed its director. The appointment was effective July 7.

Veronica Makowsky, vice provost for undergraduate education and regional campus administration, says Pizzuto is the "ideal team player."

"He demonstrates dedication, perseverance, strategy and, above all, caring. Faculty, staff, and students at Waterbury repeatedly comment that Bill is the cement that holds their community together because the person at the top so genuinely cares. I expect great things from the Waterbury campus with Bill in charge."

Pizzuto, who is also interim associate vice provost of Tri-Campus (the Greater Hartford, Torrington, and Waterbury campuses), is excited about his appointment.

"It is a privilege and honor to serve as director of the Waterbury campus," he says.

"I am proud of the faculty, staff, and students. They are the catalyst for my success."

Pizzuto, who grew up in Waterbury, earned his bachelor's and master's degree from Central Connecticut State University.

He earned his doctorate in adult and vocational education from UConn in 1999.

He worked for the state Department of Higher Education from 1989 to 2000. There he served in a number of positions, including one in the academic affairs division, where he was project officer for licensure and accreditation of universities and colleges.

He came to the Waterbury Campus in 2000 as executive director of Tri-Campus administration.

Pizzuto plans to continue nurturing the relationship between the Waterbury campus and the community.

He notes that many students tutor and volunteer at the city's schools and work with social service agencies. "They're great role models," he says.

Pizzuto says he has a "passion" to help move the University forward in its interaction with the cities: "I think universities add a lot to the cities and towns in which they are located."

He believes the best economic development engine is an educated workforce: "We can provide that workforce for the towns and cities through UConn, our flagship university.

"My experience over the years has shown me that universities should integrate well with their surrounding communities," he adds.

"I think that's one of our greatest strengths. We're in an urban area that has great potential and a strong sense of community - the businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, the banks, and hospitals, and through the municipality itself. We work well with all these groups, and will continue to try to strengthen those relationships."

Pizzuto is a trustee of Waterbury Hospital, serves on the Palace Theatre Board of Directors, is a police commissioner for the City of Waterbury, serves on the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, serves as a director of the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce, and is a governor's appointee to the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority.

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