Thursday, February 3, 2011

CSUS Chancellor Chancellor David G. Carter to Retire

One of the state’s longest-serving higher education leaders, Connecticut State University System (CSUS) Chancellor David G. Carter, informed the CSUS Board of Trustees today that he will be retiring on March 1, 2011. Carter announced last fall that he would be retiring no later than September 1, 2011.

In a letter to CSUS Board Vice Chairman Richard J. Balducci, which was shared with members of the Board via email, Carter said, “I could not then have anticipated that my health, and my increasing desire to spend more time enjoying my grandchildren, would hasten that timetable. Accordingly, I have revised my plans... Please know that taking leave of this work is even more difficult than I had anticipated, and were circumstances otherwise, I surely would have continued.”

Balducci described Carter as a “bold and insightful educator whose impact on students has made a significant and enduring difference in countless lives. David Carter never believed he would attain a college education but others believed in him. That helped make him the man he is – with tremendous respect and affection for what CSUS means to its students, universities that give people of all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue a dream, as he did. Throughout a remarkable career, his passion for education, fundamental belief in treating every person with dignity, and extraordinary commitment to advancing student success were the hallmarks of his leadership.”

Dr. David G. Carter, Sr., as Chancellor of the CSU System

Connecticut State University System trustee Karl Krapek (right) adjusts the pure silver medallion symbolic of the office conferred upon Dr. David G. Carter, Sr., as Chancellor of the CSU System
Carter’s career as a professional educator spans 45 years, beginning in Ohio and, since 1977, flourishing in Connecticut. He became the fifth president of Eastern on April 2, 1988 – the first African-American president of a four-year institution of higher education in Connecticut. He served as president for nearly 18 years, leading Eastern from a small university into a thriving academic institution with newly constructed first-rate facilities attracting a dynamic residential population from across the state, now designated as Connecticut’s public liberal arts university.

“To say that serving the students and our State of Connecticut has been the joy of my life is to understate the depth of affection that I have for the transformative impact of higher education,” Carter wrote, expressing appreciation for the efforts of trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
“The transformation of Eastern Connecticut State University and later the substantial progress of the Connecticut State University System, driven by his respect for all who contribute to the vibrancy of an academic community and his devotion to students was always something to behold,” said Balducci, who has served on the CSUS Board since 1995.

“How he was able to know almost every Eastern student, remember virtually every name, and understand how best to motivate each of them still defies explanation. But he did, and students knew he genuinely cared. And still does,” Balducci added.

Carter is widely credited with leading dramatic changes in the physical and academic quality of Eastern and helping save it from potential elimination. Among the facilities that were either begun, built or rebuilt under his tutelage were a new academic classroom building, student services center, library, child and family development resource center, student center and Science Building, as well as student residence halls, and athletic fields.

Prior to assuming the presidency at Eastern, he spent 11 years at the University of Connecticut, serving as associate vice president for academic affairs, associate dean in the School of Education and professor of educational administration. Before joining the faculty at UConn, he was an associate professor in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University for four years.

As Chancellor of CSUS since February 2006, Dr. Carter has presided over a period of economic challenges while leading the system of four universities to unprecedented accomplishments. Working in concert with the universities during his tenure as Chancellor, CSUS:

* reached all-time records in the number of full-time undergraduate and graduate students,
* increased graduation and retention rates,
* expanded minority population recruitment and retention,
* increased community college students and out-of-state students transferring to CSUS.

In addition, more undergraduate degree recipients are pursuing graduate level education at CSUS, and student satisfaction among graduating seniors system-wide exceeded 90 percent.

Leading CSUS, Carter encouraged the development and implementation of an articulation agreement that had been discussed since 1991 with the Connecticut Community College system; worked in concert with Trustees, the Governor, General Assembly, collective bargaining units and staff of the universities and System Office to achieve the largest financial commitment ever to CSUS: $80 million in bond funds in FY08 followed by a 10-year, $950 million commitment known as the CSUS 2020 capital infrastructure investment plan; and achieved more than $48 million in cost avoidance and system-wide savings since 2007 by working closely with the leadership at the universities in response to the state’s economic conditions.

Carter has long been active in national, state and local organizations and agencies, and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition. He currently serves as chairman of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Secretary/Treasurer of the National Association of System Heads, and as a member of the Board of Delegates of the New England Board of Higher Education. He is past chair of the Board of Visitors of the Marine Corps University, past chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Council of Education and chaired its Finance Committee.

“Highly respected by his peers across the country, he brought national recognition to CSUS through his active leadership in national education organizations. We are a better state for his years of service at UConn, Eastern and CSUS,” Balducci said. “While he certainly will be greatly missed, he leaves a legacy of dedication, determination, character, and accomplishment that we can all aspire to.” Born in Dayton, Ohio, David Carter faced and overcame many obstacles. When he was five years old, a fire destroyed his family’s home and business, an uninsured general store. Shortly thereafter, his father passed away, leaving his mother to raise him and his older brother. But through the support of his family and the guidance of two school-teacher sisters who took him under their wings – he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central State University in Ohio, an M. Ed. degree in curriculum and supervision from Miami (Ohio) University, and a Ph.D. in educational development and educational administration from The Ohio State University.

Previous to his career in higher education, Dr. Carter was an elementary school teacher, vice principal, principal, and unit facilitator responsible for overseeing more than 20,000 students in 24 Ohio schools.

“Education has been my life’s work, in ways I could not possibly have imagined in my youth,” Carter wrote. “You have heard me describe my strong conviction, rooted in my experiences in those early years, that there is nothing more meaningful, more profound nor rewarding than to touch a life and affect its course.”

TEXT CREDIT: Connecticut State University System CSUS System Office 39 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105-2337

IMAGE CREDIT: Central Connecticut State University

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