Provost Fred Sweitzer to Retire at End of Academic Year

March 31, 2022
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
Fred Sweitzer at Commencement

University of Hartford Provost H. Frederick Sweitzer will retire at the end of the current academic year after more than three decades of service on campus, University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward has announced. 

“While saddened by Fred’s news that he will be leaving us,” Woodward says, “I am also overjoyed at the opportunity he will soon have to enjoy his many interests—and discover new ones—outside of the University.”An accomplished teacher and a nationally recognized scholar, Sweitzer came to UHart in 1985 following a 10-year career in social services to lead the undergraduate program in human services in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions. In 1990, he was appointed chair of the Division of Education in ENHP. Sweitzer was promoted to associate professor in 1991 and full professor in 1999, serving as ENHP’s associate dean for nine years. In 2008, he joined the Office of the Provost staff as assistant provost and dean of faculty development; and would progress to become associate provost and dean of graduate studies, interim provost, and most recently, provost. 

Sweitzer has taught in both the human services and teacher education programs. He participated in the first set of First-Year Interest Groups and completely revised the internship sequence. Sweitzer received the Harry Jack Gray Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1998 and the University’s Roy E. Larsen Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999.  

His scholarship focuses largely on internships, service-learning, and experiential education. Sweitzer’s book, The Successful Internship: Personal, Professional, and Civic Development, weaves theory, research, and practice into an understanding of the internship as a culminating learning experience—and has drawn praise from some of the leading names in service-learning, engaged learning, and education for citizenship. 

Sweitzer helped guide the University through two 10-year reviews by the New England Commission on Higher Education, first as co-chair of the Steering Committee from 2008–11 and then as provost for the most recent cycle. He was also instrumental in two major academic building projects—chairing the Library Master Planning Steering Committee for the 2016 renovation of the Harrison Libraries and embracing a recent leadership role in planning for the Francis X. and Nancy Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions. 

As provost, Sweitzer has overseen the development of 14 new academic programs. He hired four deans and new directors for the Harrison Libraries, the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation, and the Office of Sponsored Programs. Sweitzer also provided steady, creative, and flexible leadership for the academic enterprise and for faculty, staff, and students as the University navigated the many challenges of the ever-evolving pandemic.“Fred’s contributions on campus over the past 36 years will be missed dearly,” Woodward emphasizes. “Yet his innovative contributions to the University’s scholarly endeavors and campus culture will be felt long after his departure.”Sweitzer has impacted many in the University community during his long tenure. Anyone wishing to contribute a note, story, or well wishes to be shared with Provost Sweitzer is encouraged to do so using this form prior to May 1.  

The University will share additional information about interim leadership and a search timeline in the coming weeks.