Welcome back to a new academic year! This is an exciting time in the history of our great University. This year, we welcome more than 100 new faculty in the 13 colleges and schools at UConn. They hail from top research institutions from around the world and will support our bold academic plan (Click Here) to achieve excellence in teaching, research and engagement. The new faculty members join a distinguished group of colleagues who bring new ideas and opportunities for collaboration and continue the tradition of making important discoveries and offering a high-quality education.
We welcome 6,000 talented undergraduate students and 2,200 outstanding graduate students, whose quest for learning and exploration motivates us to develop innovations to guide their educational, professional, and personal growth. These students represent a cohort with the highest academic quality and ethnic diversity in our history.
We look forward to supporting your initiatives and to celebrating your successes at UConn.
Below we provide updates on major activities that directly affect faculty and reminders about important policies. We thank you for your commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and engagement and UConn's overall success!
Mun Y. Choi Sally M. Reis Amy K. Donahue
Provost Vice Provost for for Academic Affairs Vice Provost for Academic Operations
Academic Plan Implementation
The Academic Plan, “Creating our Future: UConn’s Path to Excellence,” was approved by the Board of Trustees in April and implementation has begun. Our new academic vision will guide future goals and strategic initiatives to enable us to achieve our aspiration to become one of the best universities in the world – recognized for excellence in breakthrough research, innovative education, and engaged collaboration with our state, country, and the world. This new vision focuses on excellence in all areas, as well as specifying interdisciplinary research and education initiatives that will be enhanced and supported by significant investments from Next Generation Connecticut.
Master Plan for Next Generation Connecticut
The campus initiated a comprehensive master planning process in February 2014 and it will be completed by early 2015. The Master Plan addresses the 20-year development program for the build out of the campus, beginning with the projects that have been funded by the Next Generation Connecticut program and including all of the infrastructure and support projects that will support those initiatives. The primary influence, and driver, for the Master Plan has been the Academic Vision Plan released last spring that will guide the academic planning for the future.
Last Spring, the master plan team documented current conditions, identified space needs and infrastructure issues, and engaged the campus in critical conversations about future development. Those ideas, planning concepts, findings and recommendations are being integrated into a Draft Master Plan document which will be widely circulated this fall and discussed at town hall meetings, focus groups, advisory groups and individual consultations with key stakeholders. The information will be available this fall on a Master Plan website for general public access to the information.
Statement on Absences from Class Due to Religious Observances and Extra-Curricular Activities
Faculty and instructors are strongly encouraged to make reasonable accommodations in response to student requests to complete work missed by absence resulting from religious observances or participation in extra-curricular activities that enrich their experience, support their scholarly development, and benefit the university community. Examples include participation in scholarly presentations, performing arts, and intercollegiate sports, when the participation is at the request of, or coordinated by, a University official. Such accommodations should be made in ways that do not dilute or preclude the requirements or learning outcomes for the course. Students anticipating such a conflict should inform their instructor in writing within the first three weeks of the semester, and prior to the anticipated absence, and should take the initiative to work out with the instructor a schedule for making up missed work. For conflicts with final examinations, students should contact the Office of Student Services and Advocacy.
Faculty and instructors are also encouraged to respond when the Counseling Program for Intercollegiate Athletes (CPIA) requests student progress reports. This will enable the counselors to give our students appropriate advice.
Policy on Faculty Leaves
Please be reminded of the Policy on Faculty Leaves that was established in 2010. Specifically, faculty are expected to be in residence unless a short-term absence (10 days or less) from campus has been formally approved by the department head with notification to the dean. By-Laws state that any absence in excess of 10 days requires approval from the Provost’s office. However, if the absence is less than one month, approval is delegated to the dean of the school or college. Any leave in excess of one month, must be formally approved in advance by the department head, the dean, and the Provost. The policy is available here.
Requirements Regarding Textbooks
In order for the University to receive student financial aid from the federal government, we must comply with the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA). One provision of the law deals with access to affordable course materials for students, and requires that the University provide the list of prices and ISBN codes of the required and recommended textbooks for each course listed on our online registration schedule.
To comply with the law, it is very important that faculty make course textbook information available before registration begins for each semester. To do this, faculty simply need to provide the information to the UConn Co-op, which then takes responsibility for making the information available as the law requires. The registration deadlines are published on the Registrar’s website. Please note that registration for the spring 2015 semester begins on October 20. Information about how to submit textbook adoption information to the UConn Co-op is available on its website.
For more information, contact: Office of the Provost at email@example.com