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UConn 2000 a winner in economic terms
January 25, 1999

The state's investment in UConn 2000, a $1 billion program to renew, enhance and rebuild UConn's campuses, has shown great return in the three and a half years since the program began, according to a report provided to the state Legislature by the University on January15.

The program has resulted not only in a number of new and renovated buildings, such as a new Stamford downtown campus, new residence halls in South Campus, and a new Chemistry building, but also has helped in meeting the Legislature's two primary objectives: stemming the tide of the most able high school seniors leaving the state; and jump-starting UConn's fund-raising program.


The biology/physics building now under construction is a key element of the planned science neighborhood, which will centralize most scientific activities. The 100,000 square-foot building will be UConn's tallest.

Rendering by Allan Dehar Associates

The program has also resulted in operational gains.

One of the Legislature's main concerns was to keep Connecticut's best and brightest students in state. The University this fall attracted 17 percent more freshmen, and saw an increase of seven points in SAT scores. The freshman class also includes more minority students and increases in enrollment at all UConn campuses except Waterbury.

The Legislature also hoped to jump-start the University's fund-raising program and included, as part of UConn 2000, a program that matched endowment contributions with an equal amount of state dollars. The University met the initial three-year, $20 million matching grant initiative in only 18 months. That program has now been extended so that endowment contributions are matched with state funds.

Annual gift receipts have risen from $8.2 million in 1995 to $20.4 million in 1998, and the total assets of the UConn Foundation have risen to $154 million as of June 30, 1998.

Other gains include progress in academic excellence, improved ability to recruit faculty, an increase in private partnerships and collaborations with other institutions of higher education.

The report notes that improvements to the physical infrastructure have allowed the University to match first-rate facilities with carefully targeted investments in academic programs; and that renovations and improvements to the regional campuses have allowed the programs at Stamford and Avery Point to anticipate and respond to the unique social and economic identities of their communities and markets. Improvements at Greater Hartford,

Waterbury and Torrington reflect the University's commitment to those campuses through the Tri-Campus plan, which will streamline administrative operations and, for the first time, allow students the opportunity to obtain four-year degrees at those campuses.

UConn 2000 has provided state-of-the-art facilities that have helped the University hire in the last two years one of the most talented and diverse faculty classes in the University's history, the report says. And it has helped attract private partnerships, including the Center for Excellence in Vaccine Research to be constructed by Pfizer Inc. on the Storrs campus. Other partnerships include a joint effort with GE Capital, Xerox, and KPMG Peat Marwick that created the Connecticut Information Technology Institute in Stamford. The CITI program provides flexible instruction for non-traditional students in information technology.

Operational gains include:

  • 93 percent of the contracts awarded went to Connecticut vendors. Of the $277 million in construction contracts, more than $63 million went to minority or women-owned or small business enterprises;

  • streamlined administrative costs for construction that have already resulted in significant savings. Administrative costs for internal project management since the program's inception four years ago total $1.3 million, or one-half of one percent of the total cost of the program to date;

  • more than $4 million in savings that resulted from the University's assuming the insurance risk by running an owner-controlled insurance program. This has saved the University more than $4 million to date.

Copies of the "UCONN 2000 Four Year Progress Report," will be distributed to faculty and staff.

Karen Grava