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June 14, 2005

Makowsky to Head Undergraduate Education

Veronica Makowsky has been named vice provost for undergraduate education and regional campus administration, effective immediately.

Makowsky will be responsible for the three main components of undergraduate education and instruction – the Institute for Teaching and Learning, Enrichment and Honors, and the Institute for Student Success – and also the five regional campuses.

“Veronica brings extensive experience and a record of accomplishment in administration, teaching, research, and public service,” said Provost Peter J. Nicholls, who announced the appointment.

Makowsky has served as interim vice provost since June 2004, and was associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2000 to 2004. One of her main tasks as interim provost has been to ensure that the work of the General Education Oversight Committee is implemented. The new general education requirements take effect this fall. As associate dean of CLAS during a period of significant enrollment growth, she was responsible for ensuring that the academic needs of the increasing numbers of students were met.

Nicholls commends Makowsky for her “diligence, insight, and perseverance in leading undergraduate education and the regional campuses during this transition of leadership.”

Makowsky, who was the first in her family to go to college, says she is passionate about undergraduate education.

“I believe state universities have a great role in providing access to students from a variety of backgrounds,” she says. “Undergraduate education and instruction is one of our strengths at the University of Connecticut, and I see this appointment as an opportunity to build, improve, and change what we have already established.”

She notes that this is a challenging time for undergraduate education at colleges around the country, but especially at UConn. Undergraduate expectations have changed dramatically, she says, and the rising quality of students at UConn in particular means that students expect more from the University, from faculty, and from academic support services. Meeting those expectations – essential if the University is to continue to attract top students – is “a big challenge,” she says.

Makowsky says she will focus not only on continuing to improve services to students, but also on further strengthening support for faculty.

At the regional campuses, she says, she will continue to strengthen the particular mission and objectives of each campus – Avery Point, for example, is focusing on marine and maritime studies, and the Tri-Campus is specializing in urban and policy studies – and to accommodate growing enrollment. She will also seek to improve communications between the regional campuses and Storrs.

The appointment was made after an internal search conducted by a committee that included Amir Faghri, dean of engineering; Debra Kendall, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology; Edna McBreen, associate vice provost and director of the Tri-Campus; Michael McKiernan, a student representative; and Sandra Rigazio-DiGilio, a professor of famiy studies; and was chaired by Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School of Education.

Schwab says Makowsky was selected from among a number of highly qualified candidates.

“We were encouraged by the quality of the applicants,” he says.

Candidates were interviewed by the Provost and other senior administrators and faculty members, as well as by the search committee.

“Veronica has the ability to work with a wide range of people, and has the academic and administrative credentials to hold such an important position,” Schwab says.

Makowsky holds a bachelor of arts degree from Connecticut College and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. She taught at Middlebury College and Louisiana State University before coming to the University of Connecticut in 1993 as a professor of English and women’s studies. She has a strong record of publication in the field of American literature, specializing in female and southern writers, and is the editor of MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States).