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More News From the Kickoff
(President Walter Harrison’s remarks at the kickoff, including updates on a wide range of construction projects, were covered in the Jan. 26 edition of UNotes Daily. Read the article.)
In addition to President Harrison, Wednesday’s event featured updates from Provost Donna Randall and presentations on the University of Hartford Magnet School and the University High School of Science and Engineering.
Alan Hadad, associate vice president and dean of university magnet schools, announced a gift from an anonymous donor, which will enable the university to present annual teaching awards to one faculty member from each of the two magnet schools. The awards will be presented at the Fall Faculty/Staff Kickoff, beginning in August 2006.
The teaching awards are an important step toward integrating the two magnet schools “into the fabric of the university,” Hadad said.
Elizabeth Colli, principal of the University High School of Science and Engineering, announced that groundbreaking for a permanent home for the high school is tentatively scheduled for May 4. Plans call for the new facility, which will be located on Mark Twain Drive Extension, to open in September 2007.
Since it opened in September 2004, the University High School has been operating in temporary facilities on the university’s Asylum Avenue campus. The school, which offers a rigorous curriculum designed to provide students with a smooth transition to college, has seen tremendous success in its first year and a half of operation, Colli said.
Those who attended Wednesday’s kickoff event also learned about the University of Hartford Magnet School (UHMS) from its principal, Cheryl Kloczko. UHMS is the only public school in the country to be located on a private university campus, and the only elementary school in the United States that was specifically designed around the theory of "multiple intelligences." Kloczko provided a detailed presentation on the school’s three components: a Family Wellness Center, an early childhood center, and a kindergarten through grade 5 elementary school.
In her presentation, Provost Donna Randall touched on a wide range of academic issues.
- The process of recruiting the university’s first full-time Dean of Graduate Studies is well under way, Randall said. A search committee chaired by Assistant Provost Katherine Black conducted airport interviews last week. The committee will invite top candidates to campus toward the end of February and faculty, staff, and students will be invited to meet and give feedback on the candidates. The goal is to have the new dean on board this summer, Randall said.
- Two overarching and interrelated goals have emerged from ongoing strategic planning efforts: improving the student retention rate and fully engaging students in the life of the university, Randall said. Toward those ends, an online survey of students is being conducted this semester to determine how engaged they are with the university. The instrument, the National Survey of Student Engagement, is being used by more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide.
- With the completion of the ISET project, space in East Hall has now become available, enabling the university to bring the Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology (GIPP) back to the Bloomfield Avenue campus, Randall said. All faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology will move to East Hall as well.
- Space in Abrahms Hall also has become available, providing an opportunity for the university to showcase its film and media studies programs in that facility. Faculty and staff in those programs will move to Abrahms Hall to create a Film and Media Studies Center.