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Tri-Campus proposal approved
July 27, 1998

The Board of Trustees Monday approved a role and scope statement for the Hartford, Torrington and Waterbury campuses that includes combining faculty resources to offer a limited number of four-year degree programs.

In February, the board approved role and scope statements that further define the special niche identified for the Avery Point campus, which is positioning itself as a major player in the marine sciences, and the Stamford campus, poised to become a major center for information technologies.

The role and scope statements for each of the campuses must now gain the approval of the state Board of Governors for Higher Education.

"These initiatives will enhance academic opportunities statewide for students," said President Philip E. Austin.

Under the Tri-Campus proposal, the Hartford, Torrington and Waterbury campuses would function as one academic unit, with an integrated faculty of more than 60 professors and a student body of close to 2,000. Each campus will continue to have a full-time director, who will report to a single coordinator.

"The on-site full-time directors will be responsible for outreach, coordination, and will act as champions for their students," said Trustee John Downey.

The three campuses, which have traditionally offered students only two-year programs and have served as feeder programs for the main campus at Storrs, are currently operating below capacity. Market analysis has shown, however, that there is considerable demand for UConn degree programs offered locally, both for traditional students and for those returning to higher education.

"We know there are increasing numbers of students who are area bound but still want access to a UConn degree," said Austin. "This proposal offers a coordinated range of programs to be available to meet the documented educational needs of students who for personal reasons or convenience cannot access services currently offered at other sites within the state."

The four-year programs of the Tri-Campus Initiative emphasize humanities and social sciences, with selected science and technology offerings in response to identified student needs. Many of the majors are interrelated, with a focus on urban areas and public policy.

Under the proposal, the University would continue to offer all the necessary lower division core curriculum courses at each campus so students could still transfer easily from a regional campus to Storrs.

The University also is working with the community-technical colleges so that students can move more easily to the regional campuses.

The Avery Point campus is slated to begin offering a four-year degree in coastal studies, using its location on the Long Island Sound and the University's expertise in marine sciences. The Stamford campus is focusing on business education, in response to the demand in Fairfield County. It already offers four-year programs in several other areas, and has established the Connecticut Information and Technology Institute, a collaboration with area businesses to provide education and training in information technology.

Chancellor Mark Emmert said he expects the new programs will be offered by September 1999.