UHart Appoints Two New Deans

The University of Hartford has appointed two new deans to its academic leadership team: Josie Brown has been named dean of Hillyer College and the College of Arts & Sciences, while Aarti S. Ivanic has been appointed to lead the Barney School of Business.

dean headshots

Brown comes to UHart from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she has served as the dean of the School of Arts and Sciences since 2022. Prior to that, Brown spent 17 years at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass., in both teaching and administrative roles. She served as interim dean for two years and assistant dean for seven years in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“I am thrilled to be joining the University of Hartford community, and I am particularly excited to be joining Hillyer College and the College of Arts & Sciences,” Brown says. “This is a time of wonderful opportunity as we work together to modernize the curriculum and to foster opportunities between the two colleges, while also pursuing collaborations with the others on campus. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, administrators, and the UHart community.”

She received her doctoral degree focused in English literature from State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her areas of academic concentration include African American literature, Caribbean literature, and Postcolonial theory and literature.

Brown succeeds Frances Altvater and Mark Blackwell who have led Hillyer and A&S, respectively, as interim deans since 2022.

“I am excited to welcome Josie Brown and Aarti Ivanic to our campus community. I believe both possess vast amounts of knowledge, experience, and passion to enhance the missions of their respective schools/colleges. I look forward to working with them to advance the goals of their schools/colleges and the University of Hartford.”

Katherine Black, Provost

Ivanic comes to the University from Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, where she has served as the founding dean of the Nicolais School of Business since 2021. Previously, Ivanic was the academic director of MBA programs at the University of San Diego Knauss School of Business, where she oversaw curriculum, academic program review, and AACSB accreditation. 

“I am excited to join the Barney School of Business and the University of Hartford at this incredible time of momentum,” Ivanic says. “I look forward to working alongside faculty, staff, administrators, and industry partners to continue to build and invest in programs to facilitate student success. The Barney School’s focus on career readiness, market-relevant academic programs, and strong industry partnerships prepares our students for an ever-changing world. I am thrilled to join a community of scholars and leaders who value and emphasize student success.”

Ivanic notes that students and their experiences are always at the core of her strategic decisions. At Wagner, she is known as a collaborative, inclusive, and transformative leader. Beginning her tenure during the pandemic, Ivanic led the Nicolais School of Business’ positive trajectory in faculty growth, increased enrollments, and industry partnerships—and enhanced fundraising initiatives. Partnering with faculty, she developed and launched programs to enhance student career readiness.

With teaching interests and expertise in marketing research and analytics, Ivanic earned a doctoral degree in marketing from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University.

Ivanic succeeds Carmen Cotei, who has served as interim dean since May 2023.