A Message From President Herbst Concerning Next Generation Connecticut

President Herbst addresses the importance of Next Generation Connecticut to the entire University community.

UConn Logo 2013 - featured

UConn Logo 2013 - featured

Dear University Colleagues, Students, and Friends:

As you may have heard, the Next Generation Connecticut initiative was approved by the Connecticut House of Representatives today, following approval in the Senate this past weekend.  The legislation received broad, bipartisan support during every step of the legislative process and will now go to Governor Malloy for his signature.

Next Generation is a transformational investment in the University of the sort most academic communities only dream of; it is a $1.5 billion project that will enable us to build more laboratories, classrooms and dorms, enroll many more students, secure advanced scientific equipment, create an outstanding campus in Hartford, enhance our operations in Stamford, and attend to deferred maintenance needs across all campuses.

Critically, it includes operating funds to hire hundreds of additional faculty – over and above our existing faculty hiring program – provide many more scholarships to outstanding undergraduates, boost support for graduate and postdoctoral students, and, in general, provide the support our faculty need for instruction and research across many disciplines.  Please visit the Next Generation Connecticut website for more details.

This investment is particularly remarkable as it arrives at a time when most flagship public research institutions are struggling in the face of eroding state support. But this has not happened in Connecticut. This initiative will launch UConn into the very top tier of international universities not only in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, but in every single discipline in this modern age, where disciplines are increasingly intertwined.

Thoughtful work went into designing this plan – much more will be required to implement it properly. Planning for Next Generation will be thoroughly integrated into academic planning for the entire University, as it must be, in the months and years to come. Leading this effort will be the University Academic Vision Committee (UAVC), headed by Professor Richard Schwab, which is working through the summer on our new Academic Plan as our individual schools and colleges also develop their own plans.

Our thanks go to Governor Malloy, Senate President Donald Williams and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and House of Representatives Minority Leader Larry Cafero,  their colleagues in the legislature, the UConn Advocates, our alumni and the many leaders from a coalition of business, industry and labor leaders in Connecticut who worked so tirelessly to pass this legislation.

This is a day for gratitude, celebration, and for envisioning all that this great University will become in the time before us. As with so many of our successes, we are reminded that we “stand on the shoulders of giants,” such as President Albert Jorgensen, who led UConn for more than 25 years and was among the first to truly conceive of the University as a comprehensive research institution. As we shape the university the next generation will inherit, we build on this legacy.

Through our dedication to this and every undertaking at the University, we will continue to earn the pride and respect of our governor, our legislature and the citizens of Connecticut as we plan for one of the most comprehensive expansions in higher education.


Susan Herbst
University of Connecticut