Agreement Reached on Programs at UCONN Regional Campuses
HARTFORD, March 2 Higher Education Commissioner Andrew G. De Rocco today announced an agreement by state higher education leaders on an expanded array of undergraduate and graduate programs to be offered by the University of Connecticuts regional campuses in Groton and Stamford, and by UConns proposed Tri-Campus consisting of the Hartford, Waterbury and Torrington sites.
The agreement, forged at a morning meeting attended by officials from UConn, the Connecticut State University, the Community-Technical Colleges, Charter Oak State College and the Conference of Independent Colleges, now goes for approval to the state Board of Governors for Higher Education.
The agreement designates a focus or a "center of excellence" for each regional campus and identifies the programs to be offered within each: marine sciences at Avery Point, business and information technology at Stamford, and urban and public policy at the Tri-Campus. The plan also specifies that the campuses will be non-residential, and outlines a new process for program expansion for all public and independent colleges in the state.
These features respond to questions raised by the Board of Governors in January when it approved an overall mission for the University of Connecticut including the ability of UConns regional campuses to offer selected undergraduate and graduate degrees but turned back separate role and scope statements for the branches because of concerns over resources and duplication.
In the new agreement, UConn has withdrawn Phases II and III of its original plans for further program expansion, and will submit new role and scope statements for its regional campuses to the Board of Governors. The Departments new process for program expansion provides UConn and all of the higher community the opportunity to respond to demonstrated educational needs.
"We are delighted that all of Connecticut higher education has reached consensus on this important issue," stated Commissioner De Rocco. "For all partners to agree fully on focused programs, and on a new collaborative way to serve the educational needs of each of Connecticuts regions, is quite an accomplishment. All should be applauded for resolving this issue in an open and cooperative manner."
State Rep. Kosta Diamantis (D-79 Dist.), chairman of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the General Assemblys Appropriations Committee, stated he was particularly delighted that the plan resolves concerns raised about resources and duplication. "This is a prudent plan because it assures that new programs will respond directly to justified needs and will not duplicate current offerings. It also shows that Connecticut higher education can work together well in serving state citizens."
Comments from each of the officials who signed onto the agreement were equally positive.
Philip E. Austin, president of the University of Connecticut, said, "Were very pleased to have an agreement with our colleagues in higher education. This is a great day for our regional campuses as it will allow them to reach their full potential."
William J. Cibes, Jr., chancellor of Connecticut State University, stated, "The University of Connecticut and Connecticut State University have been involved in lengthy and fruitful discussions on the Tri-Campus issue for a year. Im pleased this work has culminated in this agreement and am especially appreciative of Commissioner De Roccos leadership in this area."
Bruce H. Leslie, chancellor of the Board of Trustees of Community-Technical Colleges of Connecticut, commented, "Connecticuts Community-Technical Colleges are located in the same communities as the UConn regional campuses. We are pleased our students will be able, through 2+2 programs, to transfer to the regional campuses and that UConn students will continue to take advantage of the Community-Technical College programs as well."
Merle W. Harris, president of Charter Oak State College, said, "I am please that this agreement will result in a process where all Connecticut colleges and universities will work together to meet the states education needs."
Judith B. Greiman, president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, added, "We are happy to be working with the public institutions to develop a planned approach to meeting the needs of businesses and students that makes use of the existing higher education resources in Connecticut."
The Board of Governors is expected to act on the agreement at its March 17th meeting in Hartford.
For specifics on the agreement please view the entire UConn Regional Campus Agreement.
Contact: Connie Fraser