For all those political science majors, MPP pursuers or policy wonks who suspect that their academic efforts may never pay off, guess again. It is possible to have your best efforts and sleepless nights recognized. The brightest shining example of this comes in the form of the appointment of Dr. Susan Herbst as the 15th president of the University of Connecticut. And if that isn’t enough of an accomplishment she would be the first woman UConn president in the nearly 130-year history of the university! Via the New York Times, check out this awesome story:
The board of trustees unanimously selected the administrator, Susan Herbst, at a special meeting, calling her an exceptional leader in higher education who will use her enthusiasm and experience to help the university push ahead academically and in research.
Dr. Herbst is executive vice chancellor of the University System of Georgia, overseeing all academic programs for Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities. She turns 48 on Tuesday.
Her salary will be $500,000 per year, of which $145,000 will be paid by the University of Connecticut Foundation, a tax-exempt corporation that raises money for the university. Dr. Herbst, her husband and their two teenage children plan to live in a home on campus known as Oak Hill, which was built in 1940 to be the president’s residence.
In addition to being a Georgia system administrator, Dr. Herbst is a public policy professor at Georgia Tech. Her research specializes in public opinion, mass media, civility in politics and policymaking.
While I am sure the road has been a long one, we should all take some time to recognize this woman’s accomplishment today, and be encouraged that another academic ceiling has broken as we pursue our own goals. Although some of our dreams may feel totally out of reach, some career aspirations are fulfilled. Dr Herbst’s appointment just reinforces the old adage that we shouldn’t follow our dreams, we should chase them!