The need for a truly comprehensive plan to chart the future decade is critical. We face challenges that will need to be addressed as we move forward. Primary among these are operating budget reductions by the state—despite increased and generous capital investments—sustained enrollment growth, the enrollment of even more talented students, and declining federal grant funding opportunities.
We need to encourage an increasing number of our faculty to generate funds for their research and, in the case of some of our research faculty, their own salaries and benefits. Recognizing that our legislature has made sincere efforts to increase some aspects of our current funding, we understand that for the foreseeable future we may continue to experience reduced state operating budget support, along with increasing expectations for research and service to our students and the state. Therefore, we must be efficient stewards of our resources, and use the additional state investments from Next Generation Connecticut and Bioscience Connecticut to maximize our efforts to enhance our University. We will examine academic policies and procedures to maximize our efforts and output. We will work to streamline various bureaucratic processes in order to support faculty resources and operate more efficiently. Building on this, we will review administrative structures to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the goals of this plan.
We must ask both our Foundation and our loyal and generous alumni and friends to respond to the University’s development and fundraising efforts with additional gifts and commitments. Through the creativity and innovative spirit of our intellectually enterprising faculty, UConn must increase its contracts and grants in the near future. This academic vision will continue to serve as one way to encourage funding and investment in research, scholarship, and creativity.