Yale Professor Establishes Faculty Fund, Fellowship at UConn

Robert Makuch
Dr. Robert Makuch.

While UConn graduate Dr. Robert Makuch is a distinguished faculty member at prestigious Yale University, his allegiance and pride in his undergraduate alma mater couldn’t be stronger.

That connection, already clear with his establishment of The Makuch Visiting Lecture Series at UConn in 2013, was reinforced recently with the announcement of his $250,000 pledge to establish The Makuch Faculty Fund in the Mathematical and Data Sciences and his $500,000 bequest to elevate the fellowship to a full professorship.

“Bob’s gift will strengthen UConn’s programs in this exciting field by helping to recruit, retain, and support the best faculty in the field,’’ said Jeremy Teitelbaum, dean of UConn’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Makuch, who graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, also received the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UConn Mathematics Department. He explained the motivation for his generous gift. “I believe that my gift will make a difference to a University that provided me an outstanding academic experience and prepared me exceptionally well for a career as a tenured faculty member at Yale.

“Importantly, UConn established a relationship with me that allowed my interests in mathematics and data sciences to be aligned with UConn’s academic programs.  This gift provides a lasting ‘thank you’ for all that UConn helped me to achieve,’’ Makuch said.

Teitelbaum said basic and applied research in mathematics and data sciences, which includes what is sometimes called “big data,’’ is “transforming biology, economics, and many other social and natural sciences.’’

Dr. Makuch’s gift to UConn comes as part of the UConn Foundation’s “Transform Lives’’ campaign, a five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support—including merit and need-based scholarships—that the Foundation raises for the benefit of the UConn student body.

“The current leadership at UConn has shown exceptional skills in selecting leading new faculty, and retaining outstanding existing faculty and staff,’’ continued Dr. Makuch. “The upward academic trajectory of UConn is self-evident, including its current national ranking among other universities and other metrics of success.’’

“I made this gift with the goal that it will help UConn continue this tradition of national and international academic leadership,’’ said Dr. Makuch. “This gift represents my contribution to keep that momentum going.’’

“Dr. Makuch’s generous gift continues his already established precedent of supporting his alma mater,’’ said Josh Newton, president of the UConn Foundation. “This will helps us tremendously in our continuing our efforts to bring a UConn education within reach of more families and strengthen the University’s standing among top public institutions.”

Dr. Makuch is a renowned biostatistician, recognized for his expert statistical and regulatory consultations to the pharmaceutical industry and to national and international governmental regulatory agencies.

He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association, cited for his expert statistical consultation to government and the pharmaceutical industry and his innovative contributions to the methodological design and analysis of clinical trials.

He is a prolific author and frequent conference speaker. Dr. Makuch holds a masters and Ph.D. degree from Yale University after completing his undergraduate degree at UConn.