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Trustees OK plans for two regionals,
including four-year degrees
February 23, 1998

The Board of Trustees has approved role and scope statements that include four-year degree and graduate programs for the Avery Point and Stamford campuses. The University will now forward the proposals to the state Board of Governors for Higher Education for approval.

Fred Maryanski, vice chancellor for academic administration, said after the February 13 trustees meeting that if approved by the Board of Governors, the Avery Point and Stamford programs could be in place by the fall. "We have defined what the programs are, staffing plans are in place," he said. The campuses will need to recruit students to those programs, he said, adding that the University also is working with the community-technical colleges so students can move more easily to the regional campuses.

The tri-campus proposal for the Hartford, Torrington and Waterbury campuses will be discussed at the April meeting of the trustees. Stamford has had a limited number of four-year degree programs for years, and will expand its offerings now that the new downtown campus is open.

Maryanski said that although four-year degree programs at the regional campuses may slightly reduce the number of students transferring to Storrs, the percentage of students who transfer from regional campuses has already declined, from 70 percent of regional campus students a few years ago to just over 40 percent now.

The board also gave preliminary approval to a proposal for University-wide tenure, but had to table a vote until the April meeting because all proposed changes to the by-laws must sit on the table for two months.

Trustees also reviewed a new budgeting process that involves forwarding a biennial budget request to the board in the spring. The advantage of the new system is that it will allow the trustees to review both tuition and fee requests at the same time, rather than reviewing tuition increases in July and fee increases in November. A budget workshop is scheduled for April 30. The proposal to hold discussions on fees and tuition at the same time requires an amendment to the by-laws and was tabled until April.

In his report to the board, Austin noted that there has been significant progress on UConn 2000- related projects. He said there has been some criticism of the University for not using Connecticut contractors, but "the data simply do not support the concerns." As of Oct. 10, 1997, the University had spent $213 million on 57 projects, including 55 awarded to Connecticut contractors for a total of $177 million, or 83 percent of the total. Half of the cost of the two contracts with out-of-state contractors went to Connecticut subcontractors.

Reporting on a meeting of the Health Affairs Committee, trustee Jennifer Smith said the Health Center received a 97 percent rating from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO), believed to be the highest rating ever given to a hospital. She added that the Medical School has received about 3,500 applications. The applicants have a grade point average of more than 3.5, placing them in the top 2 percent of the nation. To date, 129 applicants have been accepted, including 32 from underrepresented populations.

Lawrence Hightower, a professor of molecular and cell biology, received a citation from the board for his election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see story this page). Trustees also recognized the women's soccer team, who were finalists in the 1997 NCAA Division I Women's Championship. They commended in particular Sarah Whalen, National Player of The Year, and the women's soccer coach, Len Tsantiris, who was selected as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I Women's Soccer National Coach of the Year

In other business, the board approved a new Ph.D. in natural resources. Chancellor Mark Emmert explained that the program, expected to graduate an average of two students a year, will take advantage of the new agricultural biotechnology building that is now under construction and is scheduled for completion by 1999.

Other programs approved were a graduate certificate in toxicologic risk assessment and a graduate certificate in culture, health and human development. Emmert described the graduate certificate programs, which are smaller than graduate degree programs, as "between a degree and a major."

The trustees also approved a change to the title of the chief student affairs official, from vice president to vice chancellor. Emmert announced that Vicky Triponey from Wichita State University has accepted the position (see story page 3). He said the name change reflects organizational changes that have already taken place, adding that the position parallels the positions of vice chancellor for academic administration and for business administration.

The academic affairs committee, which met prior to the full board meeting, heard presentations on the Institute for Teaching and Learning and on a proposed new student information system.

The next board meeting will be held April 3 at Blue Cross in Hamden.

Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu