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October 1, 2001

Trustees Approve Two New Programs

The Board of Trustees approved two new interdisciplinary programs Wednesday: a master's degree in survey research, and an undergraduate major in cognitive science.

The survey research program would recognize the size, quality and reputation of the current program, a concentration in the master of arts in political science program, said Chancellor John D. Petersen.

Administered by the Institute for Public Affairs, the new program would be linked with both the Center for Survey Research and Analysis and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and would involve faculty from political science, marketing, educational psychology, communication sciences, economics, psychology, and sociology. A one-year program, it would be offered first in Storrs, and then, possibly as early as 2003, at the Stamford campus.

Survey research programs are offered at the Universities of Michigan, Maryland, and Nebraska, but not in Connecticut or New England. There is a shortage of personnel in the market research industry, according to the Fourth Annual Career Consulting Group Benchmarking Survey.

Also approved by the trustees was a program in cognitive science, the study of how intelligent beings, including people animals and machines, perceive, act, know and think. The program has been a popular individualized major for five or six years, said Ross MacKinnon dean of liberal arts and sciences. Offering it as a major will codify it and package it, so students are aware it is there, he said.

Administered by a steering committee, the new major will involve faculty from psychology, linguistics, logic, computer science, anthropology, neuroscience, and philosophy.

Both programs must be approved by the state Board of Governors for Higher Education before they can be offered.

In other business, the trustees approved an academic misconduct policy for students at the School of Law. The policy takes into account "the unique obligations of law students, faculty and staff and the need to report directly to bar examiners" on misconduct, said Vicky L. Triponey, vice chancellor for student affairs.

The policy specifically deals with cheating, misrepresentation, plagiarism, prohibited collaboration, impeding the work of others, tampering, and other issues. It is designed to specifically address the academic and professional responsibilities of law students and supplements the student code of conduct. Behavior standards set out in the code apply to all UConn students, Triponey said.

The law school policy was drafted by law faculty and students and approved after a draft was circulated to the student body for comment, she said.

The trustees also listened to 23 speakers commenting on the development of the Storrs campus. Some complained that the proposed student housing on the edge of campus is too close to the town, while others commended the University for what it has done already, as well as for its future plans. Mayor Betsy Paterson said the Town of Mansfield is especially eager to see development of graduate student housing near the downtown area so that the year-round residents of the housing can support a more vibrant business area.

Karen A. Grava

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