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Iowa provost appointed new UConn president

by Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu & Karen Grava - August 27, 2007

Michael J. Hogan has been appointed the 14th president of the University of Connecticut.

Hogan, 63, joins UConn from the University of Iowa, where he has been executive vice president and provost since 2004.

He plans to start at UConn on Sept. 14. He is expected to hold a faculty appointment as a full professor in the history department, and has indicated that he will live on campus in the president’s house.

Hogan, selected after a comprehensive national search, was the unanimous choice of the 33-member search committee, and was endorsed for the post by the Board of Trustees during a meeting in the Rome Ballroom Aug. 1.

The committee included the chair and other members of the Senate Executive Committee, student representatives,

several trustees, the governor, the mayor of Mansfield, and the president of the Alumni Association. It was chaired by John Rowe, M.D., chairman of the Board of Trustees.

“Michael Hogan is a distinguished scholar and one of the nation’s outstanding academic leaders,” says Rowe. “His experience at the University of Iowa, and prior to that at The Ohio State University, equips him superbly for the challenges and opportunities at the University of Connecticut. His responsibilities at Iowa, including engagement with health care issues as well as the full range of undergraduate and graduate programs at a major public university, will serve him – and us – well in the years ahead.”

A specialist in the history of American diplomacy, Hogan holds the F. Wendell Miller Professorship in History and has been the chief academic officer at the University of Iowa. He was responsible for oversight of all academic programs, including the medical school; student academic services; academic strategic planning; and the promotion of student and faculty diversity.

He also was a key advisor to the University of Iowa’s president on health sciences issues and chaired the university’s health sciences policy-setting committee, comprising the health sciences deans and the directors of the university’s clinical care programs, including the hospital.

“Michael Hogan is the ideal candidate to lead our state’s flagship public university,” says Gov. M. Jodi Rell. “He is committed to excellence, and he shares my vision for the young people who go to UConn to prepare for their futures.”

Before joining the University of Iowa, Hogan held positions as executive dean of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences, dean of the College of Humanities, and chair of the Department of History at Ohio State.

Rowe calls Hogan an academic decathlete: “You only win the gold medal in the decathlon if you score a lot of points in every event. Because of his broad career, personality, inclination, and distinguished academic abilities, Michael Hogan is in fact a decathlete.”

Rowe says about 500 candidates expressed interest or were nominated for the post, and the pool included government officials as well as candidates from academe. The initial stages of the search were conducted by Isaacson, Miller, a firm specializing in academic searches. The finalists included three minorities and several women. When the steering committee interviewed the 10 front runners in July, Hogan emerged as the clear top choice.

Rowe says the committee was looking for a scholar to provide academic leadership for the faculty, someone with experience at a large public university, who cared about student life, had dealt with legislators, had an appetite for fund raising, and had experience with health care. He says Hogan is strong in all these areas.

The tasks that will face the new University president include oversight of the 21st Century UConn infrastructure program and an upcoming capital campaign.

A solid career
Hogan, one of five siblings of Irish heritage, grew up in Waterloo, a mid-sized industrial city in northern Iowa. His parents placed great emphasis on education.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English, with minors in history and classics, at the University of Northern Iowa, and his master’s and Ph.D. in history at the University of Iowa.

He spent much of his career at Ohio State, where he was on the faculty from 1986 to 2004. He was chair of the history department from 1993 to 1999, dean of the College of Humanities from 1999 to 2003, and executive dean of the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences from 2003 to 2004.

Michael J. Hogan speaks with reporters after a press conference August 1.
Michael J. Hogan speaks with reporters after a press conference Aug. 1.
Photo by Peter Morenus

Previously, he was a faculty member at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for nine years, and a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin and SUNY at Stony Brook.

Hogan and his wife Virginia have four grown children.

Hogan’s bio is available at: http://president.uconn.edu/bio/Hogan_Bio.html

Outstanding scholar
A well recognized scholar, Hogan is the author or editor of nine books and a host of scholarly articles and essays. He has been a fellow at the Harry S. Truman Library Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and has served as Louis Martin Sears Distinguished Professor of History at Purdue University.

His books include the prize-winning study The Marshall Plan: America, Britain, and the Reconstruction of Western Europe, 1947-1952 (1987). Among the other books he has authored or edited are The End of the Cold War: Its Meaning and Implications (1992) and Hiroshima in History and Memory (1996), and A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945-1954 (1998).

Tom Paterson, a UConn emeritus professor of history who collaborated with Hogan on two editions of Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations, describes him as “well organized, incisive, and clear-headed.”

He says Hogan’s book on the Marshall Plan, which showed the give and take between Europe and the U.S. in shaping the implementation of the plan, established him as an outstanding scholar.

“It was a massively researched book, very attuned to detail and to the complexity of events,” he says.

As editor of Diplomatic History, an international journal of record for specialists in diplomacy, international relations, and national security studies, Hogan turned the journal into a major voice for discussing new approaches in the field, says Paterson.

“He’s very open to different approaches, though he has his own,” he adds. “He’s very interactive with other scholars.”

In recognition of Hogan’s 15 years of service as editor, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations established an endowed scholarship in his name.

Hogan’s scholarly achievements have also been recognized by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, which awarded him the Bernath Lecture Prize in 1984. And Ohio State presented him with its Distinguished Scholar Award in 1990, the highest award for scholarly distinction conferred on faculty members.

As an administrator, Hogan has remained an active scholar. In 2003, he was president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and in 2004, he published the second edition of Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. He is currently working on a history of the field of diplomatic history.

Leadership style
Hogan’s first venture into academic administration was as chair of the Ohio State history department for six years. Under his leadership, the department earned not only a departmental teaching award but a selective investment award from the university, recognizing excellence in both teaching and research. He also increased its national profile as a top-20 graduate program.

When he was confirmed as dean of humanities at Ohio State in March 2000, an article in the university’s newspaper stated that he had the “deep respect and support of faculty throughout the college.”

In 2003, he became executive dean of a new federation of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, comprising five colleges, 41 departments, and some 1,000 faculty.

He moved to the University of Iowa in 2004 to become provost.

Colleagues describe Hogan as a man of integrity and commitment, who is easy to work with.

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