Community Engagement

Center for Community Engagement and Social Research


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Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair Holder: Donald J. DeFronzo

Donald J. DeFronzo of New Britain is the current Chair Holder of the Governor William A.O’Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics, appointed by the CSCU Board of Regents and serving in this capacity since 2016. The Chair is housed in CPPSR. In keeping with the directive made at the Chair’s establishment in 2000, Mr. DeFronzo was chosen as being "recognized for an outstanding contribution to the understanding and shaping of Connecticut’s public affairs."After a long career of public service in Connecticut, Mr. DeFronzo retired as Commissioner of the state’s Department of Administrative Services (DAS). He has also served as State Senator representing the 6th District in Connecticut’s General Assembly, Mayor of the City of New Britain, Executive Director of the Human Resources Agency of New Britain and as a planning analyst in the state’s Office of Policy and Management. He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut. Honoring the public service legacy of the first Holder of the Chair, Governor William A. O’Neill, Mr. DeFronzo, as the fourth Chair Holder, will instruct within the Political Science Department and actively engage CCSU faculty and students in the public policy outreach of the Chair and Center.

Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics

The Governor William A. O'Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics was established in 2000 by Connecticut's Board of Governors for Higher Education and the Connecticut State University Board of Trustees to honor the late Governor William A. O'Neill, who served from 1980 to 1991.

The O'Neill Endowed Chair seeks to promote an understanding of the history, structure, people and policies of our State's government for both students and the larger community. The Chair's programs include active archival and oral history projects and collaborations with CCSU's Political Science department, History department, University Library, Media Services department and the United States Library of Congress.

The O'Neill Endowed Chair links CPPSR to students and faculty through a wide range of academic and applied research programs. The Chair Holder is a public figure recognized for an outstanding contribution to the understanding and shaping of public affairs in Connecticut.

O'Neill Public Service Scholarship for students enrolled in CCSU's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)