Meet the Candidates

Thank you for your interest in the 2023 Alumni Trustee Election. The following candidates have been nominated for the Alumni Trustee position. As a UConn graduate, you may vote for one of these nominees or for another eligible candidate of your choice. The ballot for this election will be mailed in July 2023. To learn more about the trustee eligibility requirements or election process visit the Alumni Trustee Election page.

Alumni Trustee Candidates

Bryan K. Pollard ’85 (CLAS)
Middletown, CT

As the incumbent, it would be an honor to serve another term to continue making meaningful contributions to UConn’s success. UConn provided a foundation for my career and personal life. I am passionate about assuring that current and future students have opportunities to thrive in a vibrant university. I wish to continue to ensure that alumni have avenues for meaningful involvement in the life and future of our beloved University.

Professional Experience:

  • Associate General Counsel, Raytheon Technologies Corporation

UConn Service:

  • Board of Trustees, Alumni Trustee (2019 – Present)
    • Committees: Academic Affairs; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Honors & Awards; Institutional Advancement; Student Life; and Trustee – Administration – Faculty – Student (“TAFS”).
  • Presidential Search Committee (2022).
  • Established the Bryan K. and Alice M. Pollard Endowed Scholarship with key components:
    • Financial Scholarship
    • Mentoring and alumni networking opportunities for CLAS students
  • Alumni Association
    • President (1999 -2000)
    • Board of Directors (1994 – 2000)
    • Committees: Committee on Diversity and Opportunity (2002- 2015); Insurance Committee (2002—2014); and Building Names Committee (2007- 2008).

Community Service:

  • Board of Directors: St. Bernard School, Uncasville, CT (2012-2020); Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, FL (2018); University of St. Joseph, Hartford, CT (2015-2017); St. Vincent DePaul – Middletown, CT (2011-2015); Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (2006-2013); YMCA of Northern Middlesex County (2003-2009); City of Middletown, CT Board of Ethics (1995-1998; Chairperson 1998); The Connection, Inc. (1995-1998).
  • Chairperson of the United Way Campaign for Otis Elevator Company (2012-2014)


  • University of Connecticut, B.A., Political Science, 1985
    • Honors Scholar,
    • Magna Cum Laude,
    • Phi Beta
  • Yale Law School, J.D. 1988


UConn Recognition

  • UConn Foundation Founders Society Member – In recognition of lifetime commitment to and contribution in support of UConn’s educational and research programs.


Additional UConn Services:

  • Alumni Volunteer Networking Meetings – Featured Speaker (2019-2023)
    • CLAS Dean’s Advisory Board – Featured Speaker
    • CLAS Student/Alumni Career Night – Participant
    • CLAS Student and Alumni of Color Networking Event – Panelist


External links:

It Started in the Wilbur Cross Library: Couple Who Met at UConn Love to Give Back – UConn Today PLEASE SEE VIDEO EMBEDDED IN ARTICLE

Q & A with UConn’s Alumni Trustees

Lee C. Annecchino
Lee C. Annecchino ’93 ’98 (ENG)
Glastonbury, CT

As a passionate advocate for UConn, I’ve never been prouder of my alma mater. Since I enrolled in 1989, UConn has grown into a national brand in academics, research and athletics and has had an immeasurable impact on me personally. I’m energized to serve on the Board and believe that my experience and commitment to academic and athletic excellence will help unleash the future of UConn. #UnleashTheHuskies


Professional Experience

  • Capgemini (2022 – present)
    • Executive Vice President, Head of Aerospace & Defense
  • United Technologies (1996 – 2021)
    • Collins Aerospace
      • VP/GM Air Management Systems ($1B+ business)
      • VP Strategic Planning & Operations (Pwr & Cntrls)
      • VP Quality, Supply Management & Integration
      • Chairman of two Joint Ventures
    • UTC Corp / Pratt & Whitney


UConn Service

  • Co-founder: Young Engineers & Scientists (YES) program
  • Promoted the creation of the Pratt & Whitney endowed chair for engineering faculty
  • Self-funded incubator for business research projects with UConn MBA program
  • Sponsored engineering senior design projects
  • Recruited 100+ UConn graduates into UTC
  • Multi-generation UConn family
    • Including two current undergraduate students


Community Service

  • FIRST Robotics Program Manager
    • Launched the Hartford Public High School team.
    • Secured INROADS scholarships for top team members.
  • United Way – Loaned Executive



  • UConn School of Engineering, BS Mechanical Engineering, 1993
    • University Scholar (12 students selected out of 3853)
    • Honors Scholar
    • Magna Cum Laude
    • Tau Beta Pi
  • UConn School of Engineering, MS Mechanical Engineering, 1998
  • University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, Executive Program & Emerging Leaders Program
Dr. Uyi E. Osunde ’03 (CLAS) ’08 ’20 ’21 (Neag)
New Haven, CT

As an alumni, I am confident, appreciative, and humbled by the transformational impact UConn has had on my life’s trajectory as an individual, community member, and professional. Working collaboratively with like-minded people to keep the University Of Connecticut’s academic programs, professional talent, stakeholder experiences, and societal and global economic impact amongst the top in the country is a commitment I aim to invest time and energy into.


Professional Experience

Superintendent of Schools at the Stratford Public Schools, Stratford, Conn.

  • CEO to the Stratford Board of Education
  • Overseeing 1050+ employees and 7,000+ students across 13 schools


UConn Service

UConn ELP District Leader Panelist Cohorts 21-22

  • President’s Athletic Advisory Committee (PAAC): Academic committee. University of Connecticut (2001-2004)
  • One of four nominees for National Leaders Foundation to represent University of Connecticut Athletics (2001, 2002)
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) University of Connecticut (1999-2004)
  • Elected by teammates to the position of Captain for the 2003 UCONN Football Team
    • UCONN Team Defensive MVP 2003
    • College Football News Independent Defensive Player of the Year, All-Independent Team, ESPN Com All-Independent Team (‘03)
    • Honorable Mention All ECAC Football Team-Defensive End (‘02-‘03)


Community Service

  • Central Connecticut State University 093 District Leader Panelist 2022-23
  • Yale University Course: Leadership, Change and Improvement in Education—Expert Panelist 2021-22
  • CAS-CIAC Men of Color in Leadership Conference 2021
  • CAS Revitalize Your School Governance Council 2020
  • CAS-CIAC Board of Controls (Eligibility At-Large rep) 2017-21
  • CAS “What do we say? What must we do?” A Round Table Conversation 2020
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Keynote Speaker Town of Windsor 2017
  • GNEABSE Conference Keynote Speaker 2017
  • CollegeBoard: Mobilization and Engagement Committee (MoBe) 2014-16
  • Connecticut School Counselor Association (CSCA) Regional Vice President 2011-2015
  • CollegeBoard Forum: Program Planning Committee 2012
  • Board of Regents: College Access Challenge Grant 2011-2013
  • CollegeBoard: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy (NOSCA) 2010-2013



  • University of Connecticut, Neag School of Education
    • 2021
    • 2020
    • 2008

University of Connecticut, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    • 2003

Southern Connecticut State University, College of Education

    • 2012



  • (2021) 100 Men of Color Black Tie Gala & Awards: The Gala & Awards recognizes the contributions of selected men of color in business, education, entrepreneurship, government, entertainment, service and the impact they have made on the lives of people throughout the State of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts communities.


Additional articles highlighting the work of Dr. Uyi Osunde in supporting education.

Hartford Courant Article

Hartford Courant Article

Hartford Courant Article

Connecticut Post Article

Podcast: “School Leadership in Full Scope”

Break Your Ceilings and Shift Your Reality | Uyi Osunde | TEDxManchesterHighSchool




Candidates Q&A

  • Bryan K. Pollard

    What has been the most important role in your past service to the University and how has it prepared you to serve on the Board of Trustees?

    The most important role in my past service to the University has been my tenure as an Alumni Trustee. It has been a distinct honor and pleasure to serve the University in this capacity. I have enjoyed my role immensely and have learned an incredible amount as a result of the experience. The knowledge I have gained as an Alumni Trustee, combined with my past service as president of the Alumni Association, has prepared me well for continuing in the role as an Alumni Trustee.

    During my first term as an Alumni Trustee, I have drawn from my experience as president of the Alumni Association in numerous ways. Through my presidency, I learned the importance of board governance, the value of interacting with various alumni constituent groups, and the importance of consensus building. This provided me with a baseline understanding of the complexity of the operation of the University. My role as Alumni Trustee has broadened my scope of knowledge of the wide range of issues and factors that must be taken into consideration when making decisions that impact the University and its many constituent groups – current students, future students, alumni, faculty, staff, state residents and taxpayers, and overall supporters.

    My term as Alumni Trustee has been marked by a multitude of changes within the top ranks of the University. I have seen and been involved in changes associated with the departure of a president, the appointment of two interim presidents, the search for and selection of a new president, the resignation of a provost, and the appointment of an interim provost who was ultimately named permanent provost. My involvement in these transitions highlighted the importance of maintaining the operation of the University in a changing environment. It was imperative that the Board weigh all alternatives and make decisions that were focused on what was in the best interest of the University as a whole. The experience of being involved in critical decisions that shape the future of the University prepared me to continue to be an effective member of the Board.

    In addition to helping to ensure the efficient operation of the University during times of transition, the most profound experiences of my tenure as a Trustee have centered around addressing the needs of the current students. Indelibly etched in my mind is the Board meeting at which several dozen students came to share their mental health concerns and to plead for increased services and staffing to meet the need of those seeking mental health support. The bravery of the students sharing their struggles and the strength of their conviction stunned and amazed me. I was moved by the compassion that the Board members showed as each student spoke. I was privileged to continue the discussions with several students at the Student Life Committee meeting immediately following the Board meeting. Through the Student Life Committee, we were able to advocate for and secure additional resources to provide critical support to our students in need. This event illustrated the power of the Board to make substantive changes in the quality of life of our current and future students. This singular event deepened my commitment and dedication to being a Trustee and helped sensitize me to the critical importance of Board actions.

    In another event centering on the student experience, I was deeply impacted by being involved in helping to navigate the University’s response to an unfortunate racially charged event on campus. Following the incident, there was an outcry from many students and alumni for the University to take swift and punitive action toward those students who were directly involved in using offensive and derogatory language. I found myself working with students and alumni to assure that UConn maintains that delicate balance of creating and maintaining an environment where all students feel a sense of safety and belonging, while not infringing upon the freedom of expression of others who chose to use offensive language. This experience demonstrated the importance of having the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, on which I proudly serve. Through the work of this committee, I am involved in making an impact on the environment for all students, faculty, and staff. This is of critical importance to the University and to society as a whole.

    Through my role as an Alumni Trustee, I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide range of alumni from various constituent groups. I have become involved with the Alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and have continued my close connections with the UConn Office of Alumni Relations. These associations have allowed me to participate in numerous events and stay connected to alums. This gives me insight into the wants, needs, and desires of our alums and helps make me an effective Alumni Trustee.

    Having the honor and privilege of serving as an Alumni Trustee has given me a profound understanding of the University as a whole and what issues are important to our alumni. I am confident that I am fully equipped and prepared to continue to serve our University and ensure that it continues in its long history of excellence.


    In your view, what are the most pressing issues that the University of Connecticut faces?

    The most pressing issues facing UConn today are: (1) the economic/financial challenges of operating a large, public institution; (2) creating and maintaining an environment that celebrates and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion; and (3) creating an environment that addresses the academic, social and mental health needs of today’s students.

    UConn relies on the State of Connecticut for approximately 25% of its operating funding annually. The dependency on State funding puts UConn in a constant state of uncertainty in its ability to have funding to meet its ongoing and ever-changing needs. The Governor’s two-year budget proposal for 2024 and 2025 released on February 8, 2023 does not adequately fund UConn or UConn Health. If passed as originally proposed, the budget would negatively impact UConn by leaving a staggering shortfall of almost $160M in 2024 and $198M in 2025 compared to the budget request made by UConn and UConn Health. Whatever the final budgetary outcome, UConn will almost certainly be faced with a financial shortfall that would have to be covered by some other sources, some of which are more viable than others.

    The University administration and the current Board of Trustees have made affordability a priority and have vowed to keep tuition increases as slight as possible. As an active Board member who interacts with students regularly, I understand the struggles that many students are facing to meet their educational and living expenses. We simply cannot add more financial burden to our students and their families.

    To address the need for additional funding sources, the University must continue to seek and increase philanthropic contributions. UConn has experienced a record growth in fundraising activities. As reported in the UConn Foundation’s 2022 Annual Report, UConn received $24.4M to support research initiatives and advancements in technology, engineering and health; $29.4M in donations for scholarships and fellowships; $10.8M in support of UConn Health; and $23.5M in donations for UConn Athletics. While these are truly impressive figures, the University is still at risk of not having adequate funding to meet the high cost of providing world class educational opportunities with first-rate facilities across the board and increasing its status as a leading research institution. Continued focus on growing philanthropic donations can help close the financial gap that the University faces.

    UConn faces the challenges of ensuring that well-established relationships with major corporations continue to thrive and developing new partnerships with other businesses. These corporate partnerships not only help UConn financially, but they help establish and solidify an employment stream for our graduates, which helps fuel the state, national, and international economy. Financial issues associated with the Athletics program present additional challenges for the University. In 2020, UConn was forced to make the painful and unpopular decision to cut several sports to help alleviate some of the financial strain facing the Athletics program. The financial difficulties with Athletics continue. UConn’s Athletic program reportedly had a $53M deficit in 2022. While recognizing the importance of athletics to students, alums, and residents of Connecticut, UConn faces a challenge of how to participate in athletic programs in a cost-effective manner. We need to evaluate ways to lower costs and increase revenues associated with Athletics.

    An additional pressing issue for UConn is creating and maintaining an environment that celebrates and promotes diversity. In addition to attending a university with a vast number of courses and majors and a state-of-the-art physical environment, today’s students expect and deserve an environment that is open, accepting, and welcoming. UConn has made great strides in the recent past to increase its diversity and inclusiveness. The current overall statistics are impressive. At the undergraduate level, 52% of the students are female, 42% are classified as minorities, and 7% are international students. At the graduate and professional school level, 55% of the students are female, 24% are minorities, and 21% are international students. The undergraduate class of 2026 boasts the following statistics: approximately 25% of the students are the first in their families to attend college; 47% are students of color (26.5% identify as Black, Hispanic, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaskan natives); and 9% are international students from 38 countries. While UConn has dramatically increased the academic offerings that incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion, and provides multi-cultural programs, cultural centers, and affinity groups, UConn can and must do more to promote an environment where students feel comfortable and supported. Students must feel that UConn is a place free from violence and intimidation based on their identities. Our journey toward maintaining excellence cannot end until we have achieved this goal.

    The demographics of the faculty and staff indicate another challenge for UConn. The full-time and parttime faculty and staff of the main and regional campuses is 45% female and 24% minority; UConn Health’s faculty and staff is 46% female and 38% minority. UConn faces a challenge of attracting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff to assure diversity of thought, and providing an environment that is attractive to the best and brightest faculty available.

    Addressing the mental health issues that face today’s students is another challenge for UConn. This generation of students is living through unprecedented times. The amount of academic, financial, physical, emotional, and social pressures on students is extraordinary. UConn must allocate appropriate funding to assure that the proper resources are available to meet students’ mental health needs. We must assure that students have ready access to a diverse and sensitive group of psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers who can assist and support them as the need arises. The topics discussed above are just a small representation of the issues and challenges that are before UConn today. These issues are not insurmountable. With focused efforts of people who are dedicated to the success of the University, we can and will overcome these obstacles. My pledge is that if elected to serve another term as an Alumni Trustee, I will work to develop and implement viable solutions.


    Likewise, in your view, what are the biggest opportunities for the University of Connecticut?

    There are several opportunities upon which UConn can capitalize in the near future. If UConn takes full advantage of these opportunities, I am confident that it will reach new heights and be recognized as a world class institution in all respects.

    A critical opportunity for UConn is to promote its position as an economic force in Connecticut. Recent statistics show that more than 77% of UConn graduates stay and work or attend graduate school in Connecticut. It is noteworthy that a staggering 53% of the Connecticut engineering workforce are UConn graduates, 62% of the School of Dental Medicine graduates are practicing in Connecticut, and 35% of the graduates from the School of Medicine practice in the State. UConn clearly is fueling Connecticut’s economy by producing high quality graduates who are committed to living and working in Connecticut. If the University found additional opportunities to promote the outstanding contributions of itself and its graduates, it could enhance the University’s reputation and assist in building stronger relationships with Connecticut-based businesses. The stronger relationship could increase the possibility that businesses and industries would provide funding for UConn programs. If UConn’s business and industrial partners have a vested interest in the success of the University because UConn is producing a stream of highly qualified employees, they will be more likely to contribute resources to support UConn. The relationship is circular, forming an endless loop that can be beneficial to the future of UConn and the economic wellbeing of the State.

    Another opportunity present for UConn is to expand its research capabilities and become world renowned for excellence in scholarly research in technology, physical sciences and social sciences. Being a recognized world leader in research will result in multiplying our base of professors and scholars, attracting high caliber students who want to study with the recognized leaders in their fields, and increasing sources of funding for scholarly research.

    Becoming a global leader in climate change is another opportunity for UConn. UConn has announced its goal of achieving carbon neutrality on the Storrs campus by 2030 and being a model of environmental sustainability. The University administration is scheduled to release a Sustainability Action Plan in early 2023. Achieving environmental sustainability is of critical importance to the University, its students, Connecticut, and the world at large. I have been impressed by the vision that the University has shown in moving forward with this initiative, having had the opportunity to see presentations to the Board of Trustees on the matter and having witnessed numerous students who have spoken passionately in support of this plan. The effective implementation of the Sustainability Action Plan will support UConn’s vision and demonstrate that we are a world-class leader in environmental issues. We simply must take this opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to protecting our natural resources for the future of our planet.

    UConn can and should take the opportunity to engage all its alums. Alums from all demographics, identities and affinity groups can serve as ambassadors for UConn and promote the mission and wellbeing of our university. We must seize the opportunity to enlist the help of our alums from every group to support UConn’s fundraising activities, assist current students through various mentoring and guidance efforts, and provide jobs and career opportunities for our graduates. We have recently seen the power and importance of engaging previously untapped alums from underrepresented populations, such as Dr. Trisha Bailey, a Jamaican immigrant of African descent. Dr. Bailey’s lead gift toward the construction of a student-athlete performance and academic support center in Storrs is the largest cash contribution ever received from a UConn alum and the largest gift dedicated specifically to UConn Athletics. While a gift of that magnitude is rare, there may be many other alums who are willing and able to make significant donations if approached and encouraged to assist our university. UConn has an opportunity to continue to further the goals that are included in the University Mission Statement. The Mission Statement provides, in part “[t]hrough research, teaching, service, and outreach, we embrace diversity and cultivate leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship in our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.” UConn can increase its commitment to provide community service and outreach to others. Our students, faculty, staff and alums can be of great service to many underserved members of our communities. UConn can and should be a visible player in that arena. While members of the UConn community have been involved in numerous outreach activities, we can and should do more to be truly engaged citizens. The opportunities to make significant impacts in these areas are endless. UConn has a tremendous opportunity to draw on its strengths and history of excellence to sustain it in these difficult times and to propel it into the future. We can continue on the path to greatness by addressing the issues that confront UConn and making the most of the opportunities placed before us. With the work of dedicated individuals, we can assure that UConn lives up to its full potential. It would be an honor and a pleasure to serve another term as an Alumni Trustee to be a part of ensuring that UConn reaches that potential.

  • Lee C. Annecchino

    What has been the most important role in your past service to the University and how has it prepared you to serve on the Board of Trustees?

    Although it’s difficult to choose only one, I believe the role that was probably most important in my past support of the University was to serve on United Technologies Corporation’s (UTC) advisory committee for university outreach where UConn was identified as a ‘Gold’ partner school and I was one of the primary representatives to the school. In this role, I had the responsibility to support on-campus recruiting, develop engagement plans with UConn, promote UConn for talent acquisition within UTC, assist with the development of the Pratt & Whitney endowed chair for engineering faculty, and assist with the transfer of excess manufacturing and test equipment to UConn. I became a bridge between industry and the University.

    My experience as a liaison between UTC and UConn provided me with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate a wide range of skills that helped my professional career while learning more about UConn’s goals, mission and policies from a different vantage point. Leading through influence, effective communication and networking, collaboration and teamwork, conflict resolution and building consensus were all skills that I enhanced through this experience, and they continue to be the foundation of my leadership style.

    Serving on UConn’s Board of Trustees requires a broad range of skills, education and experience. However, I believe it is most important to have a strong commitment to UConn’s mission and purposes to advance knowledge, provide high-quality education and be a leader in research while preparing students to become productive members of society and contributing to the growth and development of Connecticut and beyond.

    While I simplified the University Mission Statement, it provides me with a clear understanding of how UConn’s mission has been put into practice. In simple terms, UConn prepared me to be a productive member of society where I have contributed to the growth and development of large multinational corporations and subsequently supported growth within Connecticut while continuing to support the University in a symbiotic relationship over 30+ years. It is the amalgamation of my personal and professional experiences as a student, alum, parent, business leader and volunteer that have best prepared me to serve on the Board of Trustees.


    In your view, what are the most pressing issues that the University of Connecticut faces?

    The University of Connecticut faces several significant challenges that it must address in order to continue to thrive and meet the needs of its students, faculty, and community. I address its top three challenges below.

    One of the most pressing and public issues facing UConn is funding. As a public university, UConn relies on state funding to support its operations and is faced with the elimination of the Higher Education Relief Fund in the coming years. The final budgets for 2024/2025 should be approved by the time this board seat comes to a vote, but regardless of the outcome, the budgetary pressures will continue to be a challenge. The budget situation is complicated, and some aspects are outside of the control of the University leadership (i.e. – collective bargaining). So, the University needs to continue to reduce the reliance on state funding by continuing to improve efficiencies and increasing private donations, and the state elected officials need to continue to support a thriving University. Without adequate funding, UConn will struggle to maintain its position as a top-tier research university and may be unable to provide the high-quality education and support that its students need to succeed. UConn is a bellwether for the state of Connecticut, and a healthy UConn is a strong predictor of a healthy state.

    A second increasing challenge for UConn is the acceleration of digital technologies and, more specifically, the mainstream emergence of regenerative artificial intelligence (i.e. – ChatGPT). One of the main negative impacts is the potential for ChatGPT to replace human instructors. While ChatGPT can provide answers and explanations to students’ questions, it cannot provide the same level of personal interaction and guidance that a human instructor can offer. This could lead to a decrease in the quality of education and student engagement. It also raises concerns about the future of the workforce. In addition, the widespread use of ChatGPT poses ethical concerns related to plagiarism and academic dishonesty. This can lead to a devaluation of academic degrees and credentials, as well as damage the integrity of the academic community. While ChatGPT has benefits to higher education, it is important to balance the use of AI technology with critical thinking, ethical considerations, and a commitment to equitable access to education.

    A final challenge facing UConn is the need to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of higher education and associated global trends. With the rise of online learning and other technological advances, UConn is facing increasing competition from alternative educational models. In addition, with the declining birth rates in the US and reduced college enrollment, there is increasing pressure for universities to make structural changes. UConn must find ways to stay relevant and competitive in this new environment. It’s imperative that UConn continues to adapt its curriculum in support of these trends, offer more online courses and programs, invest in new technologies and teaching methods, while continuing to partner with industry and organizations to promote innovation and collaboration. UConn must work to address these challenges through innovative strategies, strong leadership, and a commitment to excellence and inclusivity. With the right approach, UConn can overcome these challenges and continue to thrive as our flagship university. My personal goal is to assist the university in these efforts both for the good of its entire student body and my own children in the classes of 2026 (Paige) and 2027 (Kyle).

    Likewise, in your view, what are the biggest opportunities for the University of Connecticut?

    The University of Connecticut has a long history of academic excellence and has been consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the United States. As the university looks to the future, there are several significant opportunities that UConn can seize upon to further enhance its reputation and impact. Below I describe my perspective regarding some of the university’s top opportunities in 2023.

    First, one of the biggest opportunities for UConn is to continue to invest in and expand its research capabilities. UConn has already established itself as a leader in many areas of research and is recognized as the top public research university in New England. By continuing to invest and expand in emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and renewable energy, UConn can further solidify its reputation as a world-class research institution.

    Second, to fully capitalize on this opportunity, UConn will need to continue to attract and retain top researchers and faculty members. This will require a commitment to providing competitive salaries and benefits packages, as well as state-of-the-art research facilities and resources. Additionally, UConn should continue to expand partnerships with industry and other research institutions to maximize the impact of its research. As a contributor to local industries for the last 25 years, I would be a good resource in this process.

    Another third major opportunity is to modernize degrees to align with global trends in order to stay relevant and meet the evolving needs of students and the job market. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, UConn needs to adapt its curricula to prepare graduates for a globalized workforce. This means incorporating interdisciplinary approaches, digital literacy, and cross-cultural competencies into degree programs. UConn should continue to embrace new technologies and pedagogies to deliver high-quality education remotely, as the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards online learning. By modernizing degrees, UConn can attract a diverse student body and equip graduates with the skills needed to succeed in the rapidly changing global economy.

    A fourth opportunity for UConn is to continue to enhance its student experience. UConn has already made significant strides in this area in recent years, with investments in new student housing, dining facilities, and recreational facilities. I have been given unique insight into this area by my daughter, a current UConn freshman. UConn does a good job of prioritizing students’ needs, cultures of inclusivity and belonging, but I have no doubt, it can do better.

    Fifth, UConn should also focus on expanding its international programs and partnerships. With a growing global economy and an increasingly diverse student body, UConn has an opportunity to become a leader in international education. This could include offering more, curriculum-intense, language inclusive study abroad programs, developing partnerships with universities in other countries, and hiring more international faculty members. UConn should also continue to focus on recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff.

    Finally, UConn has a strong athletics program that has consistently produced winning teams and successful athletes over the years. Leveraging this program has proven to be a powerful tool in improving UConn’s brand and reputation. In my personal experience, UConn sports have created a sense of pride and community, which further enhances the university’s brand. By increasing visibility, showcasing academic excellence, and promoting its values and mission through the athletics program, UConn can attract and retain top talent, build a strong alumni network, and continue to improve its position as a leader in higher education.

    In conclusion, the University of Connecticut has several significant opportunities to enhance its reputation and impact in the coming years. By continuing to (1) invest in research, (2) attract and retain top researchers and faculty, (3) modernize degrees, (4) enhance the student experience, (5) expand international programs and partnerships, and (6) leverage the athletics program. I am excited to see what the university will continue to offer the next generation of students and eager, if elected, to collaborate and participate in the process.

  • Dr. Uyi E. Osunde

    What has been the most important role in your past service to the University and how has it prepared you to serve on the Board of Trustees?

    As a Pennsylvania transplant, it has been an honor and privilege to attend the public flagship university and one of the premier public universities in the United States. My experiences at the University Of Connecticut have created a passion for studying complex organizational systems. As a public K-12 school and district leader, I have employed all of my training and skills in ways that have allowed me to experience success in improving organizations. There is no greater illustration of the complexity of board governance than examining it at the municipal level. My whole professional career has been working in communities and its respective educational systems, across the state of Connecticut. I am deeply familiar and skilled with mission driven purposes, strategic planning, fiscal agency, research, stakeholder involvement, and a goal attainment. All of these experiences have confidently prepared me to serve as a contributing member on the University Of Connecticut Board Of Trustees.

    In your view, what are the most pressing issues that the University Of Connecticut faces?

    The northeastern section of the United States of America has a heavy concentration of institutions of higher education. What is more, this area of the country holds a high concentration of institutions with historically accomplished academic pedigree and esteem. The University of Connecticut must aim to continue to remain a key player in these ranks. Chief among the priority issues the university must focus on is ensuring that enrollment remains high, matched with a talented and diverse student and faculty, and tuition affordability. The University of Connecticut must continue to aim to be a global titan in the area of research. Domestically, the University of Connecticut must be a key instrument in the transformation towards a healthy state economy. The University of Connecticut holds a spirit of advocacy and being a voice for marginalized people. It must continue this necessary work and be a disruptor of institutionalized systems, practices and dynamics that continue to maintain the conditions that further marginalize and oppress various groups. Last, the University of Connecticut must continue to make progress in being operationally efficient, as well as fiscally responsible.

    Likewise, in your view, what are the biggest opportunities for the University Of Connecticut?

    We must continue to advance the global brand that is the University of Connecticut.


An official ballot will be mailed to all University of Connecticut graduates with a valid mailing address. Your ballot will be arriving at your home soon. Please take a moment to read your ballot, SIGN IT, and mail the ballot so it arrives no later than August 16, 2023. Any form of delivery other than mail will not be counted.

For questions about the Alumni Trustee election, please contact Maryann B. Markowski at (860) 486-2337.

The ballot must be signed and received on or before Wednesday, August 16, to be counted. Any form of delivery other than mail will not be counted.

In accordance with the General Statutes of the State of Connecticut, the Alumni Trustee ballot will be mailed to graduates of the University of Connecticut who are thus eligible to vote for the office of Alumni Trustee, and whose current mailing addresses are on record in the alumni database.