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Biography of President Dr. Steven H. Kaplan

University of New Haven: President Steven KaplanSince becoming president of the University of New Haven in 2004, Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D. has led the University of New Haven through a period of remarkable growth and development. In the past seven years alone, enrollment has grown by 42 percent to more than 6,400 undergraduate and graduate students, who hail from 35 states and some 45 countries. Full-time undergraduate enrollment has grown by 86 percent and applications have increased by 176 percent. During this time, the University has completed over $110 million in construction projects and has launched 17 new academic programs.

UNH now ranks among the top comprehensive universities in the North and boasts nationally ranked programs in a number of majors across business, criminal justice, engineering, forensic science, and the liberal arts and sciences. In recognition of his contributions to transforming the University, Dr. Kaplan was named "Businessman of the Year" by Business New Haven magazine in 2008.

President Kaplan also was awarded the 2011 William M. Burke Presidential Award for Experiential Education by the National Society for Experiential Education. The award recognizes President Kaplan’s efforts to make UNH a national leader in experiential education, requiring every undergraduate student to complete an internship, an academic service learning experience, international study or a faculty-mentored research project before graduation.

Previously, Dr. Kaplan was chancellor and professor of English at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, the only four-year branch campus of the University of Virginia and one of the nation’s best public colleges, according to U. S. News & World Report.

Dr. Kaplan began his teaching career in 1982 as an Instructor of English at the University of Maryland, European Division.  From 1985-1989, he served as Visiting Lecturer in American Studies at Eberhard-Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany – one of the oldest and most highly regarded universities in Europe.  After completing his doctoral studies at Eberhard-Karls Universität, he returned to the U.S. to teach English at the University of Southern Colorado.  Within three years, he was made department chair, serving in that capacity for two years before becoming Director of the Center for International Studies.

Dr. Kaplan also served as dean of Arts and Humanities at SUNY College at Buffalo and as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.

In addition to earning his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Eberhard-Karls Universität, Dr. Kaplan holds a Master of Arts degree (with a concentration in philosophy, German and English) from Eberhard-Karls Universität and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Kaplan is the author of a book on American translations of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke; a book on Tim O'Brien's fiction, published by the University of South Carolina Press; and an anthology of international war stories, published by the University Press of Colorado.  He also has written a number of scholarly essays.

Dr. Kaplan and his wife, Anemone Schweizer-Kaplan, are both ardent opera buffs and love to ballroom dance, hike and downhill ski.  They share a great love for the visual and performing arts and have traveled to more than 30 countries during their 35 years together, including Tanzania, where they hiked up Mt. Kilimanjaro.  They have a son and three daughters.

Dr. Kaplan grew up in Chicago, the son of a shoe store owner and an actress-comedienne.  He said his stepfather, Irving Glovin, taught him to love ideas and appreciate the contributions we all need to make to good causes.  Irv Glovin was a good friend of Oskar Schindler, was instrumental in getting the story out in book and film form (he was associate producer of the film), and is President of the Oskar Schindler Humanitarian Foundation.  Dr. Kaplan also serves on the board of the Foundation.

Anemone Schweizer-Kaplan grew up in Southwest Germany.  She holds the equivalent of an American M.A. in Secondary Education and taught at a German high school.  She is a ceramics artist and taught German and pottery as an adjunct faculty member in Colorado and Virginia.