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  March 11, 2002

E-Learning Suite Dedicated at
Stamford, Endowed Chair Named
By Arthur Sorrentino

In another step highlighting the success of the public-private partnership between GE Capital and the University, members of the UConn- Stamford faculty and staff unveiled a new e-learning suite in a ceremony on Feb. 27. Also participating in the event were Valerie Lewis, commissioner of higher education and UConn President Philip E. Austin.

In fall 2000, GE announced an $11 million investment to further UConn's emergence as an educational leader in e-business and information technology and to bolster the University's diversity initiatives. This represents the largest single corporate investment received to date, during the ongoing Campaign UConn fund-raising effort.

Of the $11 million for the School of Business, the School of Engineering, and the Neag School of Education, nearly $2.5 million was earmarked for the construction and equipping of 18,000 square feet at the Stamford campus. The space includes a 10,000-square-foot state-of-the art "edgelab" in which students can earn first-hand experience solving the kinds of problems typically posed in real business settings.

In addition to the edgelab, GE Capital's investment has now resulted in the building of a second-floor e-learning suite, making additional "smart classroom" space available to serve the needs of the growing and diverse student population. This enables UConn Stamford to fulfill another of its stated objectives: ensuring that graduates understand the use of technology to answer questions, conduct research, and communicate with relevancy in whatever careers they have chosen.

In his remarks during the Feb. 27 event, President Austin expressed his pleasure at the completion of the new classrooms and lab spaces, which will enhance instructional options at the campus and provide students and instructors with increased opportunities for collaborative learning to meet the future needs of businesses in the state.

"Enrollments at Stamford are up," Austin said. "And new space is critical for us to continue expanding our programs. With facilities like we have here now, UConn will continue to play a leadership role as a center of business innovation, and in the proactive use of technology in educating tomorrow's business leaders."

Also at the event, Denis Nayden, chairman and CEO of GE Capital, announced the appointment of the first GE Capital Endowed Professor of Business: Ram Gopal of the Department of Operations and Information Management in the School of Business has directed many edgelab projects and is a nationally recognized scholar in management information systems. In addition to being among the School's most respected teachers, Gopal has focused his research on economic and ethical issues relating to information technology, database design, and security issues.

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