This article first appeared in the UConn Business magazine, Volume 3, Issue 3 (Summer 2013)
What a year it has been, and what an exciting year is approaching. In this issue of the UConn Business magazine we celebrate a number of recent events and initiatives, but the big news is certainly Next Generation Connecticut, the transforming decision by the State of Connecticut to invest $1.5 billion in UConn over the next ten years. Key features of this investment are the need to foster economic growth and the desire to ensure that students have access to education that will prepare them for key career opportunities, while also developing them as people, as citizens. These features are at the core of who we are and what we do.
As you will read in this issue, we offer an innovative Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management, which prepares its graduates for great careers in a rapidly growing industry. You can hardly open a newspaper today without seeing examples of data analytics at work: whether it is about pushing advertisements to you as you shop online; or analyzing the human genome and drug efficacy; or searching for cyber-terrorists. While not all of our programs are in the news daily, our various programs excel at preparing our students for excellent career opportunities.
Also in this issue you will read about our very successful and over-subscribed Geno Auriemma Leadership Conference held at Mohegan Sun this spring. It brought executives together from across Connecticut and beyond to examine leadership practices, with particular attention to leading a diverse, cross-generational work force. This is one of many examples of active engagement with the business community in mutually beneficial ways. The article in this issue on the Northeast Utilities project is an example of such a partnership. Over several semesters our students worked under the guidance of a faculty member to help NU develop a solution for their need to have more diverse suppliers prepared to bid on projects and deliver services and products to NU. We are pleased not only by the resulting program to train venders, but also by the significant learning opportunity that our students enjoyed as they encountered real world problems and worked with faculty and NU executives to define and solve the problem.
The Next Generation initiative has other significant features that will transform UConn and the School of Business. We will be doubling the size of the student body at the Stamford campus, and many of those students will be business students. We will also add residential facilities and thereby transform the student experience. UConn is moving its West Hartford campus into downtown Hartford, and we will be able to co-locate our undergraduate and graduate business programs to that location. This will be very good for our programs and equally good for the city of Hartford. A more vibrant downtown is in everyone’s interest. Finally, we will be adding some 5,000 new students to the Storrs population and many will want to pursue business.
So this year will be exciting as we begin to implement these initiatives. We will be hiring exceptional new faculty to support our growth. We will be welcoming outstanding students. As these groups come together, I look forward to sharing their stories with our alumni and friends. Thanks, as always for your interest and support.
John A. Elliott