When President Philip E. Austin joined the University in October 1996, the UConn 2000 program was in its infancy, private fund-raising was still limited, and the Health Center operated
independently from the Storrs-based programs.
Ten years later, new and
renovated academic facilities grace the Storrs campus, each of the five regional campuses, the law school, and the Health Center.
| Click on the image above to view a slide show of President Philip E. Austin's ten years at UConn.
The University raises nearly $50 million annually, and public-private partnerships have established facilities at Stamford; in Hartford, where the Financial Accelerator was built; in Storrs; and at the Health Center – which has become an integral part of the University.
A new visual identity for the University was introduced in 1998. And in 1999, UConn entered a historic partnership with South Africa’s African National Congress party, giving impetus to the University’s human rights program.
Since Austin’s arrival in 1996, UConn has celebrated six NCAA basketball championships and the 2000 men’s soccer title. UConn’s academic growth has been impressive, and the University has climbed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings to become
the 27th best public university in
the nation in 2006, and the best in New England for eight consecutive years.
The Honors Program has improved dramatically, reflecting the significant increases in the number, quality, and diversity of the student body.
Driven by hundreds of new, state-of-the-art labs and facilities, including the new Biology/Physics Building, and the efforts of faculty, research grants have nearly doubled
in the past 10 years.
In 2001, Austin kicked-off a $300 million capital campaign, the most ambitious in UConn’s history. By 2004, the goal was surpassed.
It was the most successful campaign by a public university in New England. The endowment created through it rose from $61 million in 1996 to $287 million now.
It supports faculty research, student scholarships, and endowed chairs to help attract nationally and internationally renowned faculty. As the undergraduate population increased, a mid-year Commencement was instituted.
The growth also demanded improved student services and innovative approaches to teaching and learning, spearheaded by the new Center for Undergraduate Education.
The Center occupies one of more than 70 new or renovated buildings that have transformed the Storrs campus during Austin’s 10 years as President.
A new football stadium in East Hartford, a Visitors Center, and soon a new downtown Storrs, will be part of Austin’s legacy. More than 40,000 people stop at the Visitors Center annually, and a similar number attend each UConn football game.
A gift of $21 million to the School of Education from alumnus Raymond Neag in 1999 was the largest donation in UConn’s history and the largest gift to a school of education in the nation.
Austin, the fifth of UConn’s 13 presidents to attain 10 years of service, also has made dozens of trips to the state Capitol and Washington, D.C., advocating for appropriate state and federal support for the University’s programs.