Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday named Nicholas M. Donofrio to lead the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities governing board, the state’s largest public college system.

The previous chairman of the 92,000-student system, Lewis J. Robinson, stepped down after being asked to do so in August by the governor’s office. The request was made after a of missteps that beset the system during Robinson’s tenure.

Donofiro has been a member of the system’s Board of Regents since the state’s community colleges, Connecticut State Universities and online college were merged into one system in 2012. Before his retirement in 2008, Donofrio was IBM’s Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology. He holds a master’s degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“Nick has been a passionate member of the Board of Regents and I am excited that he has accepted this opportunity to serve as its chairman,” Malloy said in a press release announcing the appointment.  “In particular, his strong connections to the business community will benefit the system in its efforts to connect with important economic sectors and strengthen its focus on preparing our young men and women to have a competitive edge in the global workforce.”

“Higher education has been and remains a priority for me.  It has been a privilege to work with so many talented people in our state’s higher education system along with my colleagues on the Board of Regents,” Donofrio said.

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