HARTFORD, CONN. — The Board of Regents for Higher Education voted on Thursday, May 21, 2015, to appoint Dr. John B. Clark president of Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), one of the 17 institutions of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU).
During the last six years, Dr. Clark has led the Office of Business & Industry Relations and the Center for Student Entrepreneurship for the City University of New York (CUNY). He was formerly Interim Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY), and Interim President of four SUNY campuses (Alfred, Brockport, Optometry and Plattsburgh). Dr. Clark will officially begin his tenure as WCSU president on July 1, 2015.
“John Clark will make a fine leader for Western Connecticut State University and his outstanding administrative experience will enable him to continue to move the university forward with his leadership, energy and vision,” said Merle Harris, Board of Regents Search Committee Chair. “I also want to take a moment to thank the members of the University Advisory Committee for their efforts. It was a pleasure working with them on all aspects of the search.”
“We expect Dr. Clark to build upon all facets of the university, including growing enrollment, enhanced curricular offerings and commitment to the community,” said Dr. Gregory Gray, CSCU president. “I would also like to thank WCSU President James Schmotter for his 11 years of dedication and leadership to Western Connecticut State University.”
The nationwide, months-long presidential search for a new president commenced in December 2014, following the announcement by President Schmotter of his retirement, effective July 1, 2015. The presidential search was conducted by the Regents Search Committee, with the invaluable assistance of the University Advisory Committee.
Dr. Clark’s employment contract was approved today by the Board of Regents. His salary as president will be $260,000.
“I am deeply honored and privileged to be named president of Western Connecticut State University. It is truly the highlight of my career,” said Dr. Clark. “I very much look forward to working with the university’s dedicated faculty and staff in providing an exceptional educational experience to our outstanding and talented students.”
“I want to recognize and continue the excellent work President Schmotter has done in making the university a very special place of teaching and learning,” he said. “I also wish to extend my deepest appreciation to President Gray, members of the presidential search committee and the Board of Regents for giving me this wonderful opportunity to lead a premier institution of higher education like Western Connecticut State University.”
As Acting CUNY University Executive Director, Office of Business and Industry Relations, Dr. Clark is responsible for the development of educational, employment, internship, research and scholarship programs with the business sector for CUNY students and faculty.
Before joining CUNY, he was a visiting professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to that position, he was Interim Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY). During his career at SUNY, Dr. Clark was the Interim President of four of its colleges; Plattsburgh, Brockport, Alfred State and Optometry. He also served as Interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and University Life at SUNY System Administration.
Before joining SUNY, Dr. Clark had an 18-year Wall Street career in public finance and municipal bond research, specializing in health and higher education. Dr. Clark held various positions in New York City and state government and is a Vietnam-era veteran. He also has wide-ranging experience as a board member with various not-for-profit organizations providing educational, healthcare, and housing services.
Dr. Clark holds five degrees, including a bachelor of arts degree in history cum laude from Providence College, a master of public administration degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), a master of arts degree in economics from Fordham University, a master of arts degree in philosophy from New York University, and a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.