Before becoming the 11th president of Southern Connecticut State University, Dr. Papazian had an already-notable career as an educator, administrator and scholar of English literature. But since her appointment in 2011, she now oversees an institution of 11,100 students, 434 full-time faculty, 1,100 staff and an operating budget of $190 million.
Since arriving on campus, she has led a period of institutional enhancement. A major construction program is changing the face of campus. In September 2012, a new School of Business opened its doors, and in spring 2013, construction was scheduled to commence on a new Academic Laboratory Science Building and a major renovation of Buley Library. A new parking garage with 1,200 spaces was also slated to open in the spring.
Addressing pressing issues of retention and graduation rates that are currently facing many public institutions of higher education, Papazian instituted a Student Success Taskforce to examine and improve key areas of enrollment management and create a clear path to a college degree. Similarly, a Graduate School prioritization program is reviewing all aspects of access and delivery for students seeking advanced degrees. Curricular changes have also been introduced to meet workforce needs.
Dr. Papazian — who serves on the board of New Haven Promise as well as a member of the New Haven Regional Leadership Council — served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Lehman College in The Bronx, which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, before coming to Southern. A native Californian, she completed her graduate and undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English literature.