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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Provost’s Office Monthly – January 2024


With the spring semester kicking off a few weeks ago, we welcomed our students back to campus and have already jumped into our routines. While it’s nice to have a break, I enjoy spending time with our community and am glad to see everyone back on our campuses. Earlier this month, I attended an event recognizing Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Richard Pomp and had a wonderful time celebrating his significant accomplishments and impact on his field. Seeing a group of his peers and other distinguished tax law faculty join in recognition of him was inspiring and a highlight of my month. I am excited to continue attending the series of Distinguished Professor events, with the next one taking place in February, as detailed under the Dates & Events section of this newsletter. I invite all faculty, staff and students to join in celebrating our most accomplished faculty.

As you are likely aware, the first of a series of budget town hall meetings was held last week. Many thanks to all those who submitted questions for, and attended, last week’s budget Town Hall. Whether you are faculty or staff, your involvement and awareness of our budgetary priorities are vital to ensuring that we continue to thrive despite the challenges, and I’ve been heartened at the high level of interest in our budget, the budgeting processes, and the upcoming legislative session expressed by faculty and staff over the past few weeks.

To facilitate the involvement of our faculty and staff, senior administrators will continue to provide regular updates on our budget, share relevant information, and encourage open discussions. Details on future town halls and other import budget-related information can be found under the News & Updates section of this newsletter. There are also steps you can take to gather information and participate in the process:

  • Attend University Senate meetings: I strongly encourage all faculty and staff to prioritize attending University Senate meetings and maintain awareness of the discussions that take place there. All meetings are livestreamed, and the minutes and any presentations or reports are available on the Senate website. The Senate is a primary vehicle for shared governance at the University, and President Maric, myself, and members of the cabinet make frequent presentations there.
  • Utilize Informative Resources: Our Budget Planning and Institutional Research website provides a wealth of information related to our budget. Similarly, the newly approved University Strategic Plan is intended to set priorities and guide decision-making as we move forward. Familiarize yourself with these resources to stay informed.
  • Share Ideas and Feedback: Your input matters. If you have innovative ideas or suggestions for cost-saving measures or revenue generation, please don't hesitate to reach out to department heads, deans, or my office at My leadership team will be hosting office hours at each of our multiple campuses that will be announced soon.

Thank you for your dedication to UConn, and for your commitment to our university’s financial sustainability. This is not an easy time, and we will need to make difficult choices over the next few years. As you know, the budget is not just a balance sheet. It reflects our commitment to academic excellence, research impact, student support, community engagement, and the overall well-being of our university community, including our staff and faculty. Together we can work together to ensure a bright and promising future for UConn, our students, and our state.  I look forward to working collaboratively with all of you as we address the budgetary challenges ahead.


Policy on Modified Duties Due to Life Events 

The University of Connecticut is committed to fostering an educational community with a flexible and supportive work environment where faculty can thrive in both their professional and personal lives. On December 19, the University approved the Policy on Modified Duties for Faculty Due to Life Events and accompanying procedures  This policy allows a faculty member to request a temporary modification of academic duties in order to respond to an anticipated or unanticipated personal life event or situation.

Guidelines for Retired Faculty Engaged in Ongoing Research, Teaching, and Service 

The University values the significant contributions that retired faculty make to the academic mission through their research, teaching, and service. As their relationship to the University or the procedures they follow for particular activities can be complex, guidelines are needed to help academic leadership and retired faculty navigate applicable policies and procedures. View the full Guidelines for Faculty Engaged in Ongoing Research, Teaching or Service here. 

Mid-Term Grades Reminder 

University Senate By-Laws require that instructors of 1000 and 2000-level courses must submit midterm grades for all students during the mid-semester grading period which spans the sixth through eighth week of the semester (Friday, February 23, 2024 – Friday, March 8, 2024). Instructors of all other undergraduate and graduate courses are highly encouraged to submit mid-semester grades.

Midterm grades can be submitted through the Student Administration system beginning on Monday, February 19, and directions for doing so can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Future of Journals Update 

The UConn Library continues to implement the Future of Journals strategy developed in 2020 with the Provost’s Office and a committee of faculty and administrators. Now in its fourth year, we are successfully shifting away from just-in-case collection development practices to a budget sustainable just-in-time approach for providing access to scholarly information. You can learn more about the process and the upcoming non-renewal of Wiley and Taylor & Francis on the library’s blog. 

Pop Up Course 

Feeling Well: The Science and Practice of Emotional Well Being 

Feeling, being, and doing well can be really hard. Both individually and collectively, it can sometimes seem that there are endless barriers that keep us from thriving and feeling our best selves. This 1-credit course explores the science and practice of emotional well-being, defined as how positive an individual feels generally and about life overall. We will define the components to emotional well-being, which include the emotional quality of everyday moments as well as judgments such as life satisfaction, meaning, and goal pursuit. We will explore the interdependence across individuals, communities, and systems that contribute to emotional well-being, and will share effective strategies to enhance emotional well-being. 


Faculty Office Hours in Dining Halls 

The Provost’s Office is partnering with Dining Services to pilot a program for faculty to host their office hours in dining halls. We have learned from our students that attending office hours in faculty offices can feel formal and intimidating. We want students to feel comfortable talking to their instructors and provide an opportunity for a more casual interaction to build community between our students and their instructors. We are asking for an initial cohort of instructors who are willing to try this, and are specifically looking for instructors who are teaching large lectures at the 1000 or 2000 level, where students may not get as much direct interaction. Lunch will be provided for the instructor attending. 

LEARN MORE (Button to website) 


Town Hall Meetings on the Budgets for UConn & UConn Health 

A series of town hall meetings have been scheduled for this semester to discuss the budgets for UConn and UConn Health and what actions the University has taken — and plans to take — to address potential projected shortfalls.  The first town hall took place on January 24th, and a link to the recording can be found online. The remaining schedule of events follows:  

Virtual Town Hall 

In-Person/Virtual Town Hall 

To supplement the information shared during the town halls, our Chief Financial Officer, Jeffrey Geoghegan, and the head of Governmental Relations for UConn, Joann Lombardo, recorded a presentation on the current budget situation and outlook for UConn and UConn Health, as well as a discussion of the fiscal “guard rails” implemented by the state. You can also view a copy of the presentation you will see in the video here 

Other key dates to note (schedules may change): 

  • February 7, 2024: Governor expected to present midterm budget to legislature. 
  • February 14-23, 2024: Legislature holds hearings and deliberations.  

Request Academic Analytics Data via BPIR Website 

Office of Budget, Planning and Institutional Research (BPIR) designed a series of data request forms based on the Academic Analytics platform to communicate with department leadership at the University of Connecticut. The purpose of these data request forms is to assist leadership in searching for qualified job candidates, searching for funding resources for students and professors, and identifying prestige awards for outstanding professors. After receiving the search request, BPIR staff will send a confirmation email to the email address provided in the request form. Please allow one to three weeks to process and return the report. Requests can be submitted using the form on this webpage 

Faculty Activity Reporting (Interfolio) Implementation 

The offices of Budget, Planning and Institutional Research and the Provost’s Office are working together to implement Interfolio’s Faculty Activity Reporting (FAR) module, which will replace HuskyDM as the primary faculty activity data source. In moving to this new system, we aim to create a streamlined location for faculty data to be uploaded and reported to both ease the administrative burden on faculty to maintain their own records and provide academic leadership with robust reporting capabilities. 

The implementation team working to roll out this new system is in the process of meeting with key faculty and staff in each academic unit and will be prepared to share a detailed implementation timeline and launch a new webpage to house Interfolio related information in the February issue of the newsletter. 

Appointment of Vice Provost for Academic Operations 

Dr. Dan Schwartz has been appointed as the Vice Provost for Academic Operations, effective January 12, 2024. Dr. Schwartz has been an integral part of our community since joining UConn in 2010. Throughout his tenure, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to wear many hats and contribute significantly to the university’s academic and research endeavors. In his new role as Vice Provost for Academic Operations, Dr. Schwartz will undoubtedly bring his wealth of experience, leadership, and passion for innovation and entrepreneurship to enhance the overall academic operations of our university. 

Wadsworth Atheneum 

In July, UConn renewed its institutional membership to the Wadsworth Atheneum. All staff, faculty, and students can visit the museum for free with a school ID. In addition, staff, faculty, and students may schedule docent and professor led tours of the galleries. In fact, over 1,000 UConn staff, faculty, and students visited the Wadsworth Atheneum in membership year 2023! The Wadsworth also hosted 24 group tours from the University, with over 350 people in attendance.


Envisioning 2034 

On December 6th, 2023, UConn's Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the University Strategic Plan, which will go into effect in 2024. Through a process co-chaired by Provost and Executive Vice President Anne D'Alleva and Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Pamir Alpay, the Steering Committee and Working Groups engaged with over 10,000 members of our community to established shared goals and values to guide the next 10 years. Information on next steps including the roll-out and implementation of the plan are coming soon! 

Indie Major Podcast 

The Individualized and Interdisciplinary Studies Program has launched a brand-new podcast! “Indie Major” is a show devoted to the stories and visions of Individualized Majors at the University of Connecticut. You can find the show and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts.  

The inaugural episode features Kelly Ruesta Cayetano, who is majoring in “Health Disparities among Marginalized Groups.” New episodes will appear every two weeks. 

Learn More 


Provost’s Distinguished Speaker Series 

Beyond Human Nature: A Conversation with Lewis Gordon and Bandana Purkayastha  

February 27, 2024 @ 4:00pm 

Konover Auditorium, Storrs Campus  

 Lewis Gordon, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Global Affairs and Bandana Purkayastha, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, will engage in a panel-style discussion on some of the big questions in the humanities in social sciences. They will talk about how their scholarship touches the lives of communities, impactful moments of their careers, and broadly about the many facets of human nature.  

This event is open to all faculty, staff, students, and members of the community.  

Come Get the Tea from CSD  

Please join the CSD (Center for Students with Disabilities), over coffee or tea, to learn more about implementing accommodations in your courses and get 1:1 help with features of MyAccess, such as uploading exams. DSPs will be available to talk in a private setting and answer any questions you have. No RSVP needed— drop by the CSD Conference Room on one of the dates listed below: 

 2/15/24 2:30-4pm STORRS CSD Conference Room 

3/22/24 10:30am-12pm STORRS CSD Conference Room 

 2/7/24 12-2pm HARTFORD Student Services Suite 107 

 2/6/24 11am-1pm AVERY POINT Branford House Room 313 

 2/14/24 9am-11am WATERBURY (Virtual 

 3/4/24 9:30-11am STAMFORD Room 302D 

 With the growing number of students with disabilities attending college, the number and complexity of accommodation requests continue to grow. CSD staff are available to, help explain the accommodations process, provide some practical strategies on how to implement accommodations and answer any questions you may have. If you’d like a staff member to attend one of your departmental meetings, please contact to schedule at time.  

Timely Topics Series 

Every semester The Graduate School offers a series of Timely Topics workshops for faculty and staff. You can find detailed information about the sessions being offered and a link to register, as well as materials from previous sessions, on the Timely Topics webpage. 

Spirit Awards: Nominate and Outstanding Colleague 

The University of Connecticut established the UConn Spirit Awards to honor staff and faculty at our Storrs and regional campuses for stellar contributions and dedication to the mission and advancement of the University and our core values. The goals of the UConn Spirit Awards are to: 

  • Build community within the University and University departments; 
  • Provide an opportunity for employees to be recognized for their contributions to the University, which are not specifically academic but related to teamwork and civility; and 
  • Create an event that acknowledges the efforts of all employees, especially staff members. 

Nominations are being accepted through February 9, 2024.  

Nominate a colleague!  

Black History Month 

Every February, we participate in the annual tradition of Black History Month. Inaugurated in 1926 by “The Father of Black History,” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and made into a month-long celebration 50 years later, we use this month to raise awareness about Black and African American contributions to history. We recognize and celebrate the tremendous value these cultures have brought to the world, to our country, and to UConn. Though we believe that these contributions should be celebrated every day of the year, Black History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on our commitments to anti-racism and to renew our efforts. The African American Cultural Center (AACC) will be hosting the annual Black History Month Opening Ceremony on Thursday, February 1, at 6 p.m. with guest speaker Nia Long. The Closing Ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 29th at 6:00pm and will feature UConn's very own, Dr. Jeffrey Ogbar who will be providing a keynote titled "The Unexpected Genius of Hip-Hop: Innovation, the Arts and the Music Industry”. 

Lunar New Year 

February 10th marks the start of Lunar New Year 2024, the Year of the Dragon. Lunar New Year has been observed for thousands of years and symbolizes the welcoming of a new beginning and a time of reunion with family and friends. For the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community at UConn, it marks an occasion to celebrate cultural backgrounds, experiences, and identities. On Lunar New Year, we recognize and honor the rich culture, history, and experiences of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community. 


February 9: Deadline to apply for graduation!  

February 23 - March 8: Mid-semester grading period 

February 27: Beyond Human Nature: A Conversation with Lewis Gordon and Bandana Purkayastha