Board of Governors announces University of New Haven transition of leadership


President Steven Kaplan (left) and Sheahon Zenger (right), who will take part in the transition of leadership. Photo courtesy of Kayla Mutchler/University of New Haven.

The University of New Haven Board of Governors (BOG) has unanimously approved an official transition of leadership over the next two years. The new plan, starting on July 1, names Pres. Steven Kaplan the university’s first chancellor and CEO.

His leadership and operational control will largely remain the same, according to BOG Chair Charles Pompea, but he will dedicate more time to fundraising, and creating “strategic partnerships” with the university and other stakeholders.

While Kaplan shifts roles, he will be temporarily replaced by Interim President, Sheahon Zenger, who is currently the director of athletics and recreation.

According to an email sent to the university community from the BOG, Zenger will “serve as the internally-facing and community leader of the University.”

Zenger’s job will focus more so on university branding, as well as ensuring that we exceed our revenue targets, according to the email.

Zenger’s duties will include the implementation of the recently announced 2026 Strategic Plan.

Zenger joined the university community in 2019, and has worked and co-taught with Kaplan in the past.

In Zenger’s eight-year career at the University of Kansas, he grew the university’s budget from $69 million to around $100 million, and also played an integral part in the construction of multiple new university buildings. According to the University of New Haven BOG, he was a “highly successful fundraiser.”

The new plan won’t change the power dynamics substantially, and according to the email, will be “fully budget neutral,” meaning that there will be no costs necessary for the transition of power.