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February 14, 1997 - Issue Index

Trustees to vote on new degree offerings
(February 14, 1997)

The Board of Trustees meets in Stamford today to vote on new academic programs aimed at attracting more students to the University and creating niches in up-and-coming fields.

If approved, a master's degree in physical therapy and new bachelor's degrees in coastal studies would be offered beginning next fall.

Both program enhancements already have been approved by the board's Academic and Financial Affairs Committee. Today's meeting, at Champion International Corp., begins at 1 p.m.

The proposed master's degree in physical therapy is in response to the profession's anticipated increase in requirements for licensure as a physical therapist. It also would make UConn more competitive as other Connecticut universities begin implementing master's degree programs. The new degree will be an integrated bachelor's and master's. The current bachelor's degree will be changed to a pre-physical therapy degree.

Trustees also will look at two new undergraduate degrees in coastal studies. If approved by the board and the state Department of Higher Education, the program will be the first bachelor's degree offered at the Avery Point campus in Groton.

The interdisciplinary program would offer a cross-section of marine and social science courses providing students with the academic training and practical expertise needed by the region's industrial and scientific community. Students would either earn a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts within the Department of Marine Sciences. The new program is being developed in connection with a new, $56 million marine sciences center at Avery Point.

Trustees today also will consider a joint major in linguistics and psychology and consolidating the Slavic and Eastern European concentration with the Western European concentration in international studies to form a single concentration called European Studies in the Graduate School.

Also on the agenda is ratification of the collective bargaining agreement between the University and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA). If approved, the four-year agreement would head to the General Assembly.

UCPEA members ratified the contract in December. It calls for increases totaling 3 percent in each of the first two years and 4 percent in each of the last two. The total cost of the increases is $6.3 million. One item in the contract would enable some members to take classes free of charge on a space-available basis.

Trustees also will consider a site for a new home for the UConn Foundation and its development offices. A nearly one-acre parcel between Centennial Alumni House and the Admissions Building has been selected for the new facility, which would be paid for through foundation funds.


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