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Hartley career at UConn began in 1972 (Released: 2/14/96)

by Mark J. Roy, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Harry J. Hartley, who was named by the Board of Trustees as University of Connecticut president Dec. 10, 1990, is in his sixth year at the helm of the state's flagship university. He had served in the post on an interim basis from June to December of 1990 following the resignation of John T. Casteen III, now president of the University of Virginia.

After he steps down as president during fiscal 1997, Hartley will return to the faculty of the School of Education, where he is a professor of educational leadership. Hartley, who holds the distinguished rank of University Professor, started his career at UConn as dean of the School of Education in 1972.

Among the major accomplishments of Hartley's tenure was passage last year by the General Assembly of UConn 2000, the 10-year $1 billion bonding commitment from the state to rebuild, renew, and enhance the infrastructure of the University.

Following passage of UConn 2000, Hartley said the legislature's "investment in the University of Connecticut will yield long term dividends for the educational and economic future of our students and our state. With better facilities to match our educational offerings, we believe we can stop the brain drain, keeping Connecticut's best and brightest here at home, thus assuring the economic future of the state."

Under UConn 2000, the University has the authority to sell bonds for the construction of new buildings, renovation of existing buildings, and the purchase of new equipment for classrooms, laboratories, and books for the University Libraries. The anticipated renewal and growth are matched only by the expansion seen during the tenure of Albert Nels Jorgensen: when Jorgensen assumed the presidency in 1935, the University had a physical plant valued at $3 million, while at the time of his retirement in 1962, it was valued at more than $70 million.

Another major event during Hartley's tenure was the Oct. 15, 1995 dedication of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, which featured President William J. Clinton, the first sitting U.S. president to visit the University. Hartley was host to Clinton and dozens of dignitaries, including ambassadors, U.S. senators and representatives, and the family of the late Sen. Thomas J. Dodd, including Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. The dedication launched a year-long series of events with the theme Fifty Years After Nuremberg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law which will culminate in October, 1996 with a major academic conference.

Hartley frequently has said he is a practitioner of "management by walking around," often visiting campus locations unannounced to talk with faculty, staff or students about the University. He also has kept a busy schedule of attending campus events, meeting with legislators and others, and speaking to alumni and other groups throughout the state.

Hartley also:

  • Achieved unprecedented operational autonomy for the University through flexibility legislation;
  • Led the efforts to bring the University's Stamford campus to a downtown site;
  • Oversaw the awarding of more than 25,000 degrees and advocated student interests;
  • Appointed 12 academic deans and 3 vice presidents;
  • Managed, prior to UConn 2000, the improvement of facilities via $600 million in construction and planning projects, including renovations to many classrooms, lecture halls, and laboratories, as well as work on the Homer Babbidge Library, which began last fall, and the long-awaited renovation of the Field House, which will begin in May;
  • Developed operational implementation of a 10-year strategic plan;
  • Established UConn as an economic partner with the state;
  • Helped establish the Critical Technologies Program for research;
  • Enhanced international programs and promoted diversity through cultural centers and ethnic studies programs;
  • Obtained a budget addback of $18 million in 1993 for fiscal years 1994 and 1995;
  • Eliminated a deficit of $2.6 million in 1992-93 in the UConn Foundation;
  • Initiated the ongoing discussion to upgrade varsity football to Division 1-A status;
  • Worked to improve the condition of campus life for students; and
  • Oversaw plans to expand Harry A. Gampel Pavilion to include additional seating and skyboxes.

An avid fan of UConn athletics, Hartley, as vice president for finance and administration, was successful in obtaining state funding for construction of Gampel Pavilion in the 1980s.

Hartley was an early supporter of plans to have a statue of the UConn Husky erected on campus. After its unveiling in the spring of 1995, using the statue as a backdrop for pictures became an instant campus tradition for students, alumni, campus visitors, and, especially, graduates and their families following Commencement ceremonies.

As a professor of educational leadership, he has been a mentor to scores of graduate and undergraduate students and advisor to many doctoral degree recipients in the School of Education, including a number of school system superintendents throughout Connecticut. As president, he has maintained a close relationship with student leaders and other members of the student body.

Hartley also has been seen frequently at the stables of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, tending to "UC Harry H," one of the Morgan horses bred and owned by the University. Unknown to Hartley at the time, the horse was selected as his namesake as a foal in 1991. The horse is part of what Hartley has referred to as "my menagerie," which included his German Shepard "Reggie" and Jonathan XI, UConn's Husky dog mascot.

A native of the Pittsburgh area, Hartley earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Geneva College in Pennsylvania, a master's degree in economics from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in educational administration from Pennsylvania State University. Before coming to UConn, Hartley was a professor at SUNY-Buffalo for two years and an administrator at New York University for six years.

Hartley was dean of the School of Education from 1972 to 1975, then served two times as vice president for finance and administration, from 1975 to 1978 and from 1984 to 1987. He also served brief, interim tenures as acting vice president for academic affairs and provost (1995), and as president (1987).

A professor of educational administration for 24 years, Hartley was president of the UConn chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 1980-81.

In 1990, the Board of Trustees bestowed on him the University's highest academic honor, the rank of University Professor. He is the only UConn president to receive that honor.

Also, the UConn Alumni Association named him the 14th recipient of its Honorary Alumnus Award. Geneva College presented him with its Distinguished Service Award, and Penn State awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1992.

In 1995, the President of Senegal presented Hartley with Senegal's highest award: National Order of the Lion.

Hartley has published dozens of articles on educational finance and time management, written a book for Prentice-Hall on program budgeting, and served as a management consultant on planning and budgeting in 41 states and six countries.

Hartley is active in community affairs and has served as a director or corporator of Hartford Hospital, Windham Community Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Drugs Don't Work, Capitol Region United Way, chairman of the E.O. Smith High School Board, director of the UConn Foundation and president of UCEPI (University of Connecticut Educational Properties Inc.). He is a member of the Board of Directors of Fleet Bank, and currently serves on Fleet's Audit Committee.

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