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(West Hartford)­ ­– The University of Hartford’s Board of Regents has appointed Barney School of Business Dean Stephen M. Mulready M’77 as interim University president and Stanley Black & Decker CEO and President Donald Allan Jr. ’86 as board chair.

The University has also named Katherine Black, currently serving as interim provost, to the provost role for an initial term of three years. The appointments were unanimously approved at a March 21 meeting.

Mulready will begin his term in July, following the retirement of President Gregory Woodward, who recently announced plans to retire at the completion of his contract June 30.

An alumnus who earned his MBA in management systems at UHart, Mulready became the interim dean of the Barney School in August 2020, and was officially named dean in April 2021—the first Barney graduate to serve in that role. He has been engaged with the University for decades, teaching as a part-time faculty member and serving on both the Barney School of Business Board of Visitors and University of Hartford Board of Regents.

“My education from the University of Hartford has been invaluable in helping me reach my life and career goals,” Mulready says. “I am excited to take on this role during a time of transition and momentum, leading the UHart Start strategic action plan with the goal of continuing to position the University as a leader among peer institutions. I look forward to working with our UHart community to further the best interests of this very special place.”

Mulready is a recognized insurance professional and risk management expert and previously served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Crum & Forster, a leading property and casualty company. Mulready began his insurance career at Aetna, advancing to senior vice president and business leader of national commercial accounts, before moving on to become president of Orion Specialty. Royal Sun Alliance acquired Orion, where Mulready held a range of positions that included president and CEO of U.S. operations. Prior to joining Crum & Forster in 2010, he was CEO of AIX Holdings, Inc.

Mulready earned his bachelor of science in insurance management from the University of Connecticut, and also completed the Advanced Executive Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, as well as the Advanced Management Program at Fairfield University and the AACSB Bridge Program at the University of Southern California.

Currently, Mulready is an advisor for the Obsidian Insurance Co. He previously served on multiple public boards, including Cover-All Technologies, where he was chair of the audit committee, and Alico, Inc., where he served on the audit and investment committees. He is a former president of the board of directors for the Greater Hartford Arts Council, a former director of the Harford Symphony, and a former board member of Jubilee House.

Allan has been a UHart regent since 2015, as well as a past member of the Barney School’s Board of Visitors. He officially steps into the role of board chair in May, following the five-year term of current chair David Gordon ’75.

Last year, Allan was named president and CEO of New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker (SBD), the world’s largest toolmaker, having joined Stanley in 1999 and advancing throughout the years.

He was instrumental in launching the new Stanley Black & Decker Scholar program at UHart, which is providing students with scholarships, mentoring programs, resume workshops, and more. Allan has also made building expansions and renovations possible at UHart, with SBD generously contributing to spaces and technology in the Barney School of Business, the Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions, and most recently, the planned outdoor track and field.

“I have personally experienced the admirable and meaningful impact the University of Hartford makes on the lives of students and on the state of Connecticut,” said Allan. “As an alumnus, board member, and corporate partner, I have a unique leadership perspective and I am honored to succeed David Gordon as the chair of the Board of Regents. The Board is deeply appreciative of his dedication to UHart over the last five years.”

Black’s new tenure as provost will begin immediately. She was named interim provost last year after serving as dean of UHart’s College of Arts and Sciences since November 2014.

A developmental psychologist by training, Black earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bucknell University and her master’s and PhD degrees in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She joined the UHart faculty as an assistant professor in 1998, was tenured and promoted to associate professor, and then promoted to professor. Prior to serving as dean, Black served as the assistant provost and dean of graduate studies (and later dean of faculty development), as the chair (and later co-chair) of the Department of Psychology, and as the associate dean for budget and finance in the College of Arts and Sciences.

In her various administrative capacities, Black has led efforts in strategic planning; new program and curriculum development; diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEIJB); accreditation; educational technology; faculty development; and student support.

“The University of Hartford is near and dear to my heart. I have tremendous respect for its history, its academic programs, its teacher-scholar model, its shared governance processes, and— most importantly—its people,” said Black. “I look forward to working together with faculty, staff, and students to continue to advance our mission and to create a community where everyone can thrive.”

The University’s Board of Regents is currently interviewing national presidential search firms in anticipation of selecting a firm and naming a comprehensive presidential search committee in the near future. A more detailed search timeline will be shared shortly thereafter.



About the University of Hartford

Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford has been guiding the purpose and passion of students for over six decades. On our 350-acre campus alongside Connecticut’s capital city, approximately 4,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students representing 48 states and 45 countries come together for a common purpose: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. We’re a four-year private university focused on advancing the public good through meaningful connections within our communities. Our unique approach to comprehensive education gives us the critical perspectives that lead to impact change, regionally and beyond. With degree programs spanning the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions, we focus on doing the work that matters.

Media Contact: Susan Wollschlager,, 203-209-6218 (cell)