Sunday, June 2, 2013

Crisco supports Malloy's UConn initiative

Plan would yield top-tier research university

HARTFORD – State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, D-Woodbridge, a University of Connecticut alumnus and former trustee, voted Saturday with an overwhelming majority of his Senate colleagues to approve Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Next Generation Connecticut proposal.

The proposal would expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academic and research programs at the state’s flagship university.

Crisco said over the next 10 years the initiative would develop a highly skilled Connecticut workforce, stimulate economic growth in the state, and create jobs.

“This ‘next generation’ proposal will build upon Connecticut’s strengths and successful in-state industries by training a technologically advanced workforce and attracting research funding and private sector investment alike,” Crisco said. “The foresight built into this plan will yield a preeminent, nationally recognized center for 21st century higher learning.”

The plan authorizes $1.55 billion in new bonding over the next 10 years, positioning the university to hire innovative faculty, build new facilities and enroll thousands of additional talented students. 

Specifics of the plan include:

  • Hiring 259 new faculty members (of which 200 will be in STEM).
  • Enrolling an additional 6,580 talented undergraduate students.
  • Building STEM facilities to house materials science, physics, biology, engineering, cognitive science, genomics and related disciplines.
  • Constructing new STEM teaching laboratories.
  • Creating a premier STEM Honors program.
  • Upgrading aging infrastructure to accommodate new faculty and students.
  • Expanding digital media and risk management degree programs in Stamford.
  • Relocating the Greater Hartford Campus to downtown Hartford.

Crisco said over the next 10 years, UConn’s expansion and focus on STEM is expected to attract $270 million for research and more than $500 million in business activity to Connecticut. 

The proposal will create an estimated 30,000 construction jobs and support some 4,050 permanent jobs.

SB840, An Act Concerning Next Generation Connecticut, now advances to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

This information is taken from a press release from Crisco's office.

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