Susan Herbst on Ambition, Expansion, and Sports
UCONN president Susan Herbst has had a busy first year on the job.
University of Connecticut president Susan Herbst has had a busy first year on the job.
She’s pushed for a major expansion of its faculty – part of a plan to get more students into the classes they need and get their degrees in four years. The university is hiring 275 new faculty over the next four years.
UConn has also just broken ground on the new genomics collaboration with Jackson Labs - which as seen as a major step forward for the UConn Health Center, and is being counted on to bring jobs and energy to Connecticut’s bioscience field. Herbst wants UConn to have blockbuster inventions. "I'm looking for the next Gatorade," she said, in reference to the the drink that was formulated by researchers at the University of Florida. Herbst says UConn has the potential to innovate in the fields of genetics, genomics or medical devices.
President Herbst would not comment on the lawsuit pending against UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, but she did talk about the decision not to renew their contract with CPTV to air future lady Husky games. "We're incredible grateful to CPTV for years of terrific partnership and great coverage," but the university had to go through proper RFP procedures. "We have to look at [the bidders] and we have to pick the overall best choice for the University of Connecticut. So we dont get to pick CPTV or anybody else because we like them... or because of loyalty." UConn ended up going with SportsNet New York (SNY), a sports network out of New York.
Herbst says she looked at the decision from a business and femist standpoint. SNY has the capacity to broadcast to 14 million households, as opposed to CPTV which broadcasts to around one million. "Our womens basketball is one the gems of the University of Connecticut and the state of Connecticut and I want our fabulous women ... to be seeen by as many people as humanly possible."