This is an archived article. For the latest news, go to the Advance Homepage
For more archives, go to the Advance Archive/Search Page.


  December 10, 2003

Business School To Establish
New Center In Downtown Hartford

The School of Business will establish an insurance and financial center in downtown Hartford and relocate its Hartford MBA and its Farmington Executive MBA programs to the city. The initiatives were approved by the Board of Trustees during their meeting December 2.

Image: Gov. John G. Rowland speaks at the December 2 Board of Trustees meeting.

Gov. John G. Rowland, center, speaks at the Board of Trustees meeting at the Waterbury Campus December 2. At left is President Philip E. Austin, and at right, Dr. John Rowe, chair of the board.

Photo by Peter Morenus

"As Connecticut's flagship public university, UConn's mission encompasses teaching, research and service to the people of our state," said President Philip E. Austin. "An important part of our service responsibility involves advancing economic development and the quality of life across Connecticut, especially in the capitol region."

UConn has "long had a special relationship with the city of Hartford and the business community in the Hartford area," he added. "Locating these business programs and creating the Financial Accelerator in downtown Hartford, where they will be accessible to corporations and students working in insurance and financial services, takes our partnership a giant step forward."

In addition to the graduate degree programs, the Hartford downtown initiative will include an insurance and financial center, to be called the Financial Accelerator, which will use state-of-the-art financial technologies and real-time databases that will enable students, faculty and business executives to work together on solutions to real insurance and financial challenges.

Gov. John G. Rowland reiterated the importance of the program to Hartford and to the state. "This expansion will further enhance UConn's business curriculum and provide enhanced accessibility," he said. "The School of Business, its students, and global corporations located in Connecticut will greatly benefit from the real-life laboratory offered in downtown Hartford."

The move is designed to help boost Hartford's renewal by having nearly 500 students, many of them mid-level executives, obtain advanced business degrees in the city during evenings and weekends throughout the year. The MBA and Executive MBA (EMBA) programs will move to Hartford by next fall. Other workforce development programs will also be offered in downtown Hartford in the future.

The UConn Board of Trustees, during a December 2 meeting at the Waterbury campus, approved terms of a 12-year lease at 100 Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford. The lease is subject to approval by the state's Attorney General, and the relocation of the programs must be approved by the state Department of Higher Education.

"It is no surprise that the University of Connecticut School of Business has chosen our great city as home to its new financial center," said Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. "We have always been a financial leader, and by making downtown Hartford an MBA training ground, we are not only preparing but leading our future business executives on a path to success."

The Financial Accelerator will allow students to investigate alternative markets and trader support tools, study insider trading identification and control, review alternative auction market mechanisms, design financial programs, and develop products that enhance competitive advantage, evaluate emerging technologies, and create specialized business processes that increase efficiency, reduce costs, or increase revenues, said William (Curt) Hunter, dean of the School of Business.

"The accelerator will serve as a real-world lab for our faculty's ground-breaking research and will provide our business partners with solutions to market challenges that have been tested using real market data," he said.

SS&C Technologies Inc. of Windsor, one of the nation's top financial software companies, is the lead corporate partner and has been involved since the project's inception. The NASDAQ Foundation of Washington, D.C., has provided a large grant to help support the move, and NASDAQ will provide real-time data feeds to the Financial Accelerator. Capital Properties of Hartford, a major developer in Hartford, has agreed to contribute $250,000 to the project. The business school also has worked closely with both the Insurance and Financial Services Cluster of Hartford and the Metro Hartford Regional Economic Alliance in designing academic programs that will support the corporate community.

UConn's Hartford MBA program, the oldest and largest in Connecticut, has nearly 500 students aged 23-63, each with an average of seven years' work experience. UConn also offers the MBA at Storrs, Waterbury and Stamford, and the EMBA at Stamford.

The terms of the lease for nearly 35,000 square feet at 100 Constitution Plaza include rent of $532,544 in the first year, rising to $732,248 in the 12th year.