November 20, 2000
GE Invests $11 Million in E-Initiatives, Diversity
The University has announced several significant educational
partnerships with the General Electric family. Collectively,
the GE Fund, GE Capital and GE Industrial Systems have pledged
$11 million over the next five years to help catalyze
UConn's emergence as an educational
leader in e-business and e-engineering and to bolster the University's
The GE investment, announced on Tuesday to an audience of more
than 200 people at the Stamford campus, represents the largest
single corporate investment in UConn and will support the Schools
of Engineering and Business, and the Neag School of Education.
The philanthropic portion of the investment is $9.5 million
and is the second largest gift to be given to the University.
The largest was Raymond Neag's $23 million gift made to the
School of Education last year. A research grant of $1.5 million
from GE Industrial Systems to the School of Engineering
brings the GE total to $11 million.
The GE announcement is the third corporate gift announced this
fall. Others include Aetna, which is contributing $2.7 million,
matched by $1.3 million for a total of $4 million; and United
Technologies Corp., which has pledged $4 million, matched by
state funds for a total of $6 million.
Gov. John G. Rowland said vision and corporate partnerships
are contributing to UConn's success and to a desire that the
state's flagship public university become one of the best in
"GE, you bring good things to light, and you bring good things
to UConn. This is extraordinary," he said.
Such partnerships, said President Philip E. Austin, "dovetail
our research with Connecticut's economic realities" and contribute
to the development of a highly skilled workforce for the state.
"GE's support will be a vital asset in preparing our students
for a diverse, technology-intensive 21st-century workforce,
enabling our faculty to conduct cutting-edge research with GE
and supporting Connecticut's knowledge-based economy," he said.
The GE family investments will fund:
- the construction and equipping of 18,000 square feet at the
Stamford campus, including the creation of a 10,000-square-foot
state-of-the art GE Capital e-lab, in which students and faculty
will work with GE Capital executives to analyze e-projects and
explore new e-commerce models;
- the development of an e-engineering center, including cutting-edge
joint research projects with GE Industrial Systems to prepare
students for the integrated, global, team-based engineering
used in industry today;
- new "e-learning" approaches to incorporate information technology
into effective teaching and learning practices;
- programs to support increased enrollment and success of under-represe
nted minority engineering and business students.
The commitment by GE, both in dollars and in resources, represents
a major advance in education and business partnerships. Five
GE senior executives will be located at the new e-lab site in
Stamford, working with students and faculty on e-business projects.
Using the facility's advanced technology, students will tackle
complex e-business issues and will have the opportunity to report
results and solutions to GE management.
The specific commitments are:
- GE Capital, based in Stamford, Conn., will invest nearly $2.5
million in 2000 to establish the GE Capital
e-lab at UConn's Stamford campus. The initial investment will
create offices, classrooms, and a 10,000-square-foot emerging
technologies demonstration lab, as well as a high-tech "dark
room" for e-project research and development. It is anticipated
that $1 million per year will be invested over the next five years
to support the continuation of the program.
Student and faculty teams under the leadership of a GE Capital-UConn
steering committee will explore,
analyze and make recommendations on real GE Capital e-business
projects and will explore new e-commerce models.
"The investment that GE is making in the School of Business
will have enormous benefits for our students and faculty," said
Thomas Gutteridge, dean of the business school. "Because students
will gain experience working on real e-business problems, they
will be better prepared for the e-business revolution and able
to enhance their job market competitiveness. Likewise, the GE
investment will vastly enrich the research and teaching opportunities
for our faculty."
Denis Nayden, chairman and CEO of GE Capital and a
UConn alumnus, said, "e-business and digitization
are an elixir for an exciting and radical transformation in every one of our 28
business models. GE Capital will drive the development and
implementation of real world e-business and
technology solutions at the GE Capital e-lab by joining the
talents of bright, energetic students, research faculty and
GE business executives.
"We are commissioning projects such as improved design of web-enhanced
back office operations and building new business models through
digitization," Nayden added. "UConn students and faculty will
be enriched by an unprecedented learning and applied research
experience. GE Capital will benefit from the projects and we
hope to take advantage of the direct talent
pipeline to tomorrow's e-business leaders."
- GE Fund, the philanthropic foundation of the General Electric
Company, will provide a grant of $1.5 million over five years,
to be split equally between the schools of business and engineering.
The money will be used to develop and launch innovative ways
of working and learning across distances; pilot new technology-based
curricula, in collaboration with the Neag School of Education;
train faculty; and strengthen outreach, scholarship, and support
activities to increase enrollment and success of minority students.
"The Neag School of Education is excited to collaborate with
the School of Business in the design, delivery and evaluation
of e-business distance learning programs," said Richard Schwab,
dean. "Integrating our school's expertise in educational technology
with the business school's knowledge of e-business has the potential
to create an international model on how to most effectively
deliver the advanced training and development programs necessary
to compete in today's economy.
Joyce Hergenhan, president of the GE Fund, noted, "Our $1.5
million commitment to UConn is one of the largest ever made
by the GE Fund. UConn's faculty, staff and students have demonstrated
their energy and enthusiasm to prepare a future workforce that
can work effortlessly across borders, time zones, languages
and cultures. We're happy to help them do so."
In addition, the GE Fund's alumni matching gift program will
match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, the gifts of GE employees
and retirees who are UConn alums. These gifts are expected to provide an
additional $1.5 million over the five-year period.
- GE Industrial Systems, based in Plainville, Conn., will also
provide $1.5 million to the School of Engineering over three
years for joint research in materials, circuit breaker technology,
and energy management projects, in which faculty and practicing
engineers will work side by side, sharing their ideas and discoveries.
"I am pleased that, in this era of revolutionary breakthroughs
in the area of information technology, General Electric is investing
in the UConn School of Engineering to advance educational and
research activities in these technologically critical areas,"
said Amir Faghri, dean of the School of Engineering.
Lloyd Trotter, president and CEO of GE Industrial Systems, added,
"By joining the research of great minds from UConn and GE we
can work together to explore new technologies and form a new
e-engineering environment that will dramatically change how
engineering concepts are created, as well as how teachers teach
and students learn."
GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company.
The headquarters of GE and 11 of its businesses are located in Connecticut.