Halfway through one of the most ambitious faculty hiring plans in U.S. higher education, UConn has added nearly 200 new full-time, tenure-track and professor-in-residence positions during the past two years.
These new faculty members add critical new teaching and research strength to UConn, improving learning outcomes, reducing the student/faculty ratio, and increasing the research across all University disciplines.
An additional hiring initiative to support Next Generation Connecticut initiative will expand UConn's education and research strengths in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines over the next five years. It will include hiring 259 more new faculty members, with 200 in STEM areas.
UConn's hiring initiatives are being funded, in part, through a four-year tuition increase plan and the state's investment of $137 million in operating funds over the next decade as part of Next Gen.
These investments will be significantly leveraged by philanthropic gifts that sustain and advance faculty teaching, research, and professional development.
Endowed funds for faculty help UConn attract and retain national and internationally prominent scholars to lead academic programs and discover new knowledge by providing resources to support research projects, purchase equipment, hire graduate assistants and engage in curriculum development and other academic enrichment activities. In turn, outstanding faculty draw exemplary students committed to accomplishment and excellence.
Endowed support for faculty allows UConn to expand its expertise and impact in strategic areas such as language and cognition. The hiring of three new faculty members ( photo above) in cognitive science—Erika Skoe, assistant professor of speech, language, and hearing; Nicole Landi, assistant professor of psychology; and Jon Sprouse, associate professor of linguistics—has enhanced UConn's ability to address issues related to language, cognition, and the brain. "Very few public universities in the U.S. have invested on this scale in cognitive science," says Sprouse.
For Preston Green, (photo at right) an endowed professorship strengthens his voice on matters of education law and issues of school choice, educational access, and affirmative action.
"It tells the professor and the world that the University respects and supports his research and wants to help him put his work forward," says Green, who holds the Carla Klein Professorship for Urban Education in the Neag School of Education.
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