Hogan out as UConn President, accepts top job at Illinois
Rell: We assumed Hogan's commitment to UConn was long-term, it should have been
Published: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:05
Less than three years after taking the office, UConn President Michael J. Hogan has announced his resignation.
Hogan, who took over the post in 2007, replacing Phillip E. Austin, announced in a press release today he was resigning on June 30 to become president of the University of Illinois.
Hogan's three-year term as president is the third shortest in UConn history and the most brief since George A. Works took the office in 1929. UConn's previous president, Austin, served from 1996 to 2007.
Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell expressed her gratitude with the work Hogan has done at UConn, but also her disappointment at his short stay. Hogan's resignation comes just days after the Connecticut legislature authorized $362 million in state money to upgrade the UConn Health Center in Farmington, in part due to the president's lobbying.
"Mike Hogan has done a solid job during his brief tenure at UConn," Rell said in a statement today. "Many, including myself, are deeply disappointed that he is leaving the university at such a critical time, particularly on the heels of the landmark financial investment we have just made to the UConn Health Center. We had assumed President Hogan's commitment to UConn was a long-term one; it should have been."
Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd also offered his thoughts from Washington, D.C.
"As President, Michael Hogan has continued the University of Connecticut's long tradition of excellence," Dodd said in a press release. "His leadership at the University and his ability to work with students, alumni, administrators and government officials will be difficult to replace. However, I am confident that the next President of the University will be able to pick up where President Hogan left off and continue to build upon UConn's reputation as a world class university."
Hogan said that while he had accomplished many goals in his three-year stay in Storrs, he was sad to leave the university.
"UConn is a wonderful university," Hogan said in the press release. "I've made many lifetime friends here, enjoyed working with a top-notch administrative team, and celebrated the many accomplishments of our faculty, students and staff. It's with a degree of sadness that I'm leaving, but I can do so knowing that we've accomplished many of the goals that the Board of Trustees set out for me when I began my term as UConn's president three years ago."
He called his departure "a very unexpected development in my life" and "not an easy decision to make" in an e-mail to the UConn community Wednesday morning.
Hogan, who recently made headlines regarding tuition increases, six life-size cardboard cutouts of himself purchased by the university with a price tag of $3,500 and a $450,000 renovation of his office in Gulley Hall – including a $4,215 Karastan rug – will take over at Illinois for former president B. Joseph White, who resigned following an admissions scandal.
Officials at the University of Illinois were happy to have Hogan on staff.
"Those of us at Illinois have followed and admired Mike Hogan's academic career for some time," said Univeristy of Illinois interim President Stanley Ikenberry. "I admire all he has been able to accomplish and look forward to his arrival in Illinois. Mike and Virginia will be welcomed with open arms."
Not only were university officials excited to have Hogan on board, students at the University of Illinois were eager too. As UConn President, Hogan made an effort to be accessible to students and visible on campus. He could be seen riding with students on buses to football games at Rentschler Field, visiting off-campus parties on Spring Weekend and in the crowd for the UConn women's basketball team's back-to-back championships.
"I placed added importance on the candidates' relationships and interactions with the students," said Illinois student trustee Matthew Reschke. "Dr. Hogan has been well recognized for this on his campuses, and that will translate well to our system. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with his qualifications and experiences, and we are lucky to have him."
For Hogan, a Waterloo, Iowa native, working at the University of Illinois gives him a chance to be closer to home.
"I'm delighted to be returning to the Midwest to lead the University of Illinois, a top-tier institution and center of outstanding research and scholarship," Hogan said in a statement on the University of Illinois website. "I grew up in the Midwest, earned my degrees here and started my family here. I couldn't be more pleased to return to my roots as president of this world-class university."
According to a story published in January by the Hartford Business Journal, Hogan received a base salary of $577,500 in 2008-2009 and was the 19th highest paid public university president in the country. The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Hogan will take a pay cut in his new position at Illinois. Other benefits Hogan received at UConn included $15,000 for a car, $46,200 in retirement pay, and the use of a house near campus, the story said.
Prior to coming to UConn, Hogan was the Executive Vice President, Provost and F. Wendell Miller Professor of History at the University of Iowa. He also served on faculty at Ohio State, Stony Brook and the University of Texas.
Hogan was in Illinois on Tuesday and will make an official announcement on the University of Illinois campus Wednesday morning.