President Joe is leaving the university

Sofia RositaniEditor-in-Chief

Sarah Shelton Photo Editor

Jaylen Carr Sports Editor

President Joe Bertolino is leaving the university after being here for seven years. He is going back to where he grew up and where his husband and father currently reside, New Jersey. He will be the new President for Stockton University.  

Bertolino said he is looking forward to being able to spend time with his husband again and go back home.  

“It’s very bittersweet, it’s been a wonderful experience,” Bertolino said.  

 According to Connecticut State Universities President Terrence Chang, they are currently looking, and the university will know soon who it will be. The switch will occur July 1, according to Bertolino. 

The university will know more about this shift in Bertolino’s April Spring Town Hall.  

“Seven years ago when I first visited, I was enamored by the students, the community, the beautiful campus and this amazing city of New Haven. I vividly remember meeting with students, faculty, staff, alums, and friends of the university. I was told then that Southern was a special place where relationships and community mattered. That is no less true today,” Bertolino wrote on Instagram. 

He continued, “I will always have a deep affection for all that is Southern: its historic mission of access and affordability, its unique ability to transform lives through the power of education and the caring compassion of its community – never more clearly evidenced than during the challenges of the pandemic. I am particularly proud of the productive relationships that we have built with our neighbors in New Haven and beyond, the growing recognition of our distinctive excellence in a range of academic disciplines, and how we have extended a commitment to social justice and anti-racism throughout our institution, providing an example for our students to make positive change when they enter society.” 

Many students had different reactions to the news. Some knew about his interview for Stockton University, while others had no idea.   

“It’s sad to hear,” Psychology major Jacob Adorno, a senior, said. “Even though I wasn’t close to him or got the chance to interact with him much, it was always fun when I did and he clearly loves the Southern community. It’s an honor that I’m part of his last graduating class and I’ll be one of the last handful people he hands a diploma to. Regardless of why he’s stepping down, I wish him the best of luck in all of his future endeavors.” 

Psychology professor Cheryl Durwin said: “My initial reaction was sadness, as I think most faculty, staff, and students feel. President Joe has meant so much to the campus community, especially the students, and he has led the university not only through significant growth but also through an unprecedented pandemic.”  

Durwin said that the university needs to be delighted for President Bertolino and his family for this decision.  “But also, not lose sight of the hard work that lies ahead to ensure that Southern offers the very best for its students.”  

“When I found out that President Joe was leaving, I was shocked and saddened,” Student Government Association President  Kyle Thaxton, a junior said. “He has been a strong champion for social justice, and we must ensure that, when he officially leaves, our institution’s commitment to social justice does not waiver.”  

Thaxton said Bertolino laid the groundwork for the university to continue to fight for social justice. “But it will be up to us, the students, to ensure that our university’s social justice mission continues to flourish and expand in a post-Bertolino presidency.”  

Thaxton said he learned a lot from President Bertolino, such as how he didn’t allow his sexual orientation to define him and how he led the university.   

“I have always respected his grit and determination to unapologetically be himself, and someday, I hope that I can build enough confidence and courage to be like him one day,” Thaxton said.   

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s