University News

Longtime University of New Haven Leader to Deliver Commencement Address

Dr. Steven H. Kaplan, who served as president for 18 years before being named the University’s first chancellor, will address the Class of 2023 at Commencement exercises on May 13.

April 28, 2023

Chancellor Steven Kaplan
Steven H. Kaplan,Ph.D., Chancellor

Steven H. Kaplan, who joined the University of New Haven in 2004, leading the University through the most prosperous period in its rich history, will serve as the Commencement speaker at the University of New Haven’s Commencement exercises for the Class of 2023 on Saturday, May 13, at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport.

Under his leadership, the University achieved record enrollments and fundraising success, experiencing an incredible transformation that has fortified its standing as a destination school for talented students, faculty and staff. After serving as president for 18 years, he was named the University’s first chancellor in 2022.

During his tenure, the University opened campuses in Tuscany, Italy (2012), and in Orange, Connecticut (2014), in the former worldwide headquarters of Hubbell. In addition, Dr. Kaplan was instrumental in the establishment of the Engineering and Science University Magnet School, which in 2017 relocated to a 122,000-square-foot building adjacent to the University’s main campus.

In 2021 Dr. Kaplan announced the creation of “A Bold Path Forward,” the University’s five-year strategic plan, which positions the University to build on its success and standing as one of the top universities in the region.

Dr. Kaplan spearheaded the creation of The Charger Challenge: The Campaign for the University of New Haven, which launched in 2016 as a precursor to the University’s centennial in 2020, endeavoring to raise $100 million. The centerpiece of the campaign was the development of the new Bergami Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation. In total, the campaign raised $167 million, including $32 million in grants and contracts.

Prior to joining the University, Dr. Kaplan was chancellor and professor of English at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He previously served as dean of Arts and Humanities at Buffalo State College and as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.

He has taught at the University of Maryland, Eberhard-Karls Universität — one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in Europe — and the University of Southern Colorado.

Dr. Kaplan earned both a Ph.D. in comparative literature and a Master of Arts (with a concentration in Philosophy, German, and English) from Eberhard-Karls Universität, Germany. He completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.