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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Provost’s Office Monthly – May 2024


As we close another academic year, I find myself reflecting on the collective achievements and challenges that have marked our journey together over the last academic year. The end of the semester brings with it the joy of graduation—a significant milestone where we celebrated the hard work and success of conferring 8,139 degrees, including to 1,874 graduates who were the first in their families to earn college degrees, and 4,361 graduates from our own state of Connecticut.

 This is a time of year that we recognize faculty excellence across multiple dimensions of our work, and you’ll see the recipients of various awards listed below. I’d like to highlight the 91 faculty who were awarded tenure and/or promotion by the Board of Trustees at their April meeting, and thank all of the faculty and staff who engaged in and supported this process. I’m especially thrilled that our colleague Professor Nora Berrah of Physics was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Her achievements as a scientist exemplify the excellence and impact of our faculty, and I am especially grateful for her tireless advocacy on behalf of women in science.

These achievements remind us of the resilience and dedication within our community, even in times that test our strength and spirit. As we move into the summer, I recognize that the paths ahead may vary—some may engage in research, others may teach, write, or take time to rest. Many of our staff will be working diligently throughout the summer to prepare for the coming year, but I do hope everyone finds time to relax and recharge. Whatever your plans, I am grateful for your continued commitment to our university community and the care you extend to our students and to each other.


Celebrating Promotion and Tenure of 91 Faculty

The University of Connecticut Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the award of promotion and/or tenure to 91 faculty across its multiple campuses. 

Evaluations for promotion, tenure, and reappointment apply the highest standards of professional achievement in scholarship, teaching, and service for each faculty member evaluated. Applications for promotion and tenure are reviewed at the department level, school or college level, and finally at the Office of the Provost before recommendations are forwarded to the Board of Trustees. 


Faculty Consulting Reminder  

Please Submit New Requests for the Reporting Year That Begins May 23, 2024 

 The reporting year for faculty consulting ends on May 22, in alignment with the 9-month faculty contract. If you have continuing activities or any summer remunerated external activities, you can submit these at any time. Consulting requests only run through a single year (May 23 through May 22 the following year), so any ongoing activities require that you submit a consulting request for the next year. 

 Any faculty affiliated companies require a consulting request each year, regardless of whether you anticipate you will have effort in the year ahead. Whenever possible, submit consulting requests for all faculty affiliated companies at least one week before the start of the next reporting year. 

 Consulting requests can be reconciled at any time after an activity is completed, or after the end of the reporting year. In late August a reminder will be sent for any approved consulting activities approved for the current year (FY24) that have not been reconciled. You do not have to wait for these reminders to reconcile your requests. 

 If you need assistance with faculty consulting, please reach out to Sarah Croucher, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs ( 

Scholastic Standing and Dismissal By-Law Change to Effective Fall 2024 

During a regular meeting on April 1, 2024, the University Senate passed a motion presented by the Senate Scholastic Standards Committee initiating several changes to the Bylaws, Rules & Regulations of the University Senate II.E.13. Scholastic Standing & Dismissal. The University Senate Bylaws, Rules & regulations will be updated to reflect this change during the summer months, as the current bylaws on Scholastic Standing & Dismissal remain in effect through the Spring 2024 semester. 

Please review the full motion and learn more about this change on the University Senate website. 

Transition of HuskyCT Courses from OCV to UCV in Blackboard 

Plans are underway to transition HuskyCT courses from Blackboard’s old Original Course View (OCV) to the updated Ultra Course View (UCV). The near-term goal is to have all 1000- and 2000-level courses using Ultra Course View at the start of the Fall 2024 semester. To meet this goal, ITS and CETL would like to remind faculty of this effort and that help is available to all who want it. 

 The main reason for this upgrade is to keep the HuskyCT platform up to date. If instructors do not begin using the new Ultra Course View, their courses in Original Course View will likely experience an increasing number of issues. The new Ultra Course View is a modern, user-friendly LMS. Most instructors and students who already use UCV have reported that it is a much better experience. Faculty find UCV easier to teach with and students find UCV easier to learn from. To that end, ITS and CETL are making an effort to move HuskyCT courses to the new version and provide as much support as is possible to faculty. 

 Very simple courses can often be migrated automatically requiring minimal cleanup by faculty. More involved courses might require additional corrections. Highly complex courses that use advanced features often do not migrate well using the available tools. In these cases, rebuilding the course in Ultra might be an instructor's best option.  

 To get started, faculty can initiate a conversation or course conversion with the ITS and CETL teams by accessing the following form and clicking the button for an Ultra discussion: 

 HuskyCT Course Copy Request | ITS Services ( 

 Additionally, the CETL-EdTech website contains information and resources on the Ultra Course View transition:  

 Ultra Course View in HuskyCT/Blackboard | Educational Technologies ( 

 This site is actively maintained and will continue to be developed with best practices and additional information as the migration unfolds. 



Ji-Cheng ‘JC’ Zhao Named Dean of College of Engineering 

Ji-Cheng ‘JC’ Zhao joins UConn from the University of Maryland where he is the department chair of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Clark Distinguished Chair Professor following a career that has spanned academia, industry, and government. Read the full announcement. 


Deanna Fitzgerald Named Dean of School of Fine Arts

Deanna Fitzgerald, M.F.A. joins UConn from the University of Arizona where she currently serves as Vice Dean of the College of Fine Arts and has a multifaceted background as an administrator, as well as an artist and educator in the field of lighting design. Read the full announcement.

Leslie Shor Appointed Vice Provost & Dean for Graduate Education

Leslie joins the Provost’s Office from the College of Engineering where she has served five years as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and is currently Centennial term Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Shor has been an integral part of our community for nearly 15 years and brings a distinguished record of academic achievement and leadership to her new role. Read the full announcement 

Fany Hannon Appointed Dean of Students

Fany DeJesús Hannon has been appointed as the Dean of Students. Fany, who has served with distinction in this role on an interim basis since November 2022, brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to our university community. Read the full announcement.

CETL Leadership Update 

Dr. Amit Savkar’s term as Interim Associate Vice Provost will be ending on May 23, and we will plan to launch a search to appoint a new permanent leader early in the fall semester.  

Since becoming interim AVP in August, Dr. Savkar has provided steady leadership and guidance for CETL through a period of transition and uncertainty. He was instrumental in standing up new pop-up courses, building on faculty development programming, and sustaining excellence in support structures for student success. His innovation and forward thinking approach brings a wealth of new ideas and value to our work in the division of Academic Affairs. We are grateful to Dr. Savkar for his dedication to enhancing educational practices at UConn and look forward to continued collaborations. 

As Dr. Savkar concludes his term, he will shift his primary focus to teaching and continue his work with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) on equitable teaching in mathematics. This initiative, which has been impactful at our regional campuses, is now expanding to the Storrs campus. Additionally, Dr. Savkar will focus on integrating the regional Q centers with the one at Storrs campus and scaling the training for tutors across all regional campuses. His ongoing commitment to educational excellence will undoubtedly enhance our university community. 

UConn ID Template to Change 

The University permits the One Card Office to print an individual’s chosen name on the back of the UConn issued identification cardCurrently, the University procedure is to display one’s legal name on the front of the card. Formal requests were submitted to remove the legal name from the card or at a minimum, place the legal name on the back of the ID and the chosen name on the front. Effective May 14th, chosen names will be moving to the front of the ID card, effectively swapping the location of the names (legal name versus chosen name). This does not apply to UConn Health. Contact with any questions.  


Nora Berrah Elected to National Academy of Sciences

UConn physics professor Nora Berrah has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), becoming the seventh member from the UConn community to join the selective national society. READ MORE 

Provost’s Outstanding Service Awards  

UConn Provost Announces Awards for Outstanding Service - UConn Today  

The University of Connecticut proudly announces the recipients of this year’s Provost’s Outstanding Service Award, a prestigious recognition of faculty members who have exemplified exceptional dedication and contribution to the university’s mission across teaching, research, service, or engagement. Please join us in congratulating the following 2024 awardees in both the Distinguished and Emerging categories. You can read more about each awardee in the UConn Today article 


Dr. Caroline Dealy, Associate Professor, Departments of Reconstructive Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology 

Dr. Steve Zinn, Professor, Department of Animal Science 


Dr. Michael Finiguerra, Associate Professor-in-Residence, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship 

The Provost Awards for Excellence in Community-Engaged Scholarship (PAECES) celebrate every year the significant efforts of faculty, staff, students, teams, and community partners who work to address critical community issues through collaborative, mutually beneficial, and creative exchange of knowledge and resources. Please join us in congratulating the following 2024 PAECES winners: 

Faculty Category 

Emerging Faculty Instructor Award: Stephany Santos 

Distinguished Faculty Instructor Award: Dan Burkey 

Emerging Faculty Community Impact Award: Tatiana Andreyeva 

Distinguished Faculty Community Impact Award: Angela Bermúdez-Millán 

Emerging Faculty Research Scholar Award: Roman Shrestha 

Distinguished Faculty Research Scholar Award: Richard Pomp 

 Student Category 

Graduate Student Award: Erin Cova
Undergraduate Student Award: Letian Sun 

 Staff Category 

Staff Award: Megan Delaney 

 Community Partner Category 

Community Partner Award: Auerfarm 

Community Partner Award: Herb Virgo, Keney Park Sustainability Project 

Community Partner Award: Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) 

Community Partner Award: Donald Swinton 

 Institutional Transformation Category 

Institutional Transformation Award: UConn Writing Center 

Institutional Transformation Award: Nadine Brennan, David Embrick, Cynthia Miranda-Donnelly, Janice Castle, and Kim Schwartz, the Research on Resilient Cities, Racism, & Equity Initiative (RRCRE) 

 Read more  

2024 Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Awards

The Office of Undergraduate Advising is pleased to announce the winners of the 2024Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor Awards, which recognize the extraordinary contributions of undergraduate academic advisors in supporting academic success and student development at the University of Connecticut. 

Outstanding Undergraduate New Professional Staff Advisor Award 

Abigail Clark, Academic Advisor, School of Nursing 

Jenna Hartwell, Academic Advisor, Student Services (Waterbury) 

Outstanding Undergraduate Professional Staff Advisor Award 

Kristen Dostaler, Academic Advisor, CAHNR 

Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Advisor Award
Vida Samuel,Assistant Professor in Residence, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences (Stamford) 

UConn Students Earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships   

A total of 10 students with ties to the University of Connecticut have recently earned National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships (NSF-GRFP). Those 10 include three undergraduates, three graduate students (including two who earned their undergraduate degrees at UConn) and four UConn alumni. READ MORE 


Faculty Salary Adjustment Requests  

The deadline for faculty to request a salary adjustment for compression/inversion or special achievement is June 1, 2024. Requests should be made by emailing their department head (copy dean or designee) including any relevant supporting documentation (i.e. evidence of compression/inversion or major prize/award). 

Reminder: Transitioning from HuskyDM to Interfolio FAR  

The Office of the Provost and the Office of Budget, Planning and Institutional Research are partnering to implement Interfolio’s Faculty Activity Reporting (FAR) module, which will replace HuskyDM as UConn’s faculty data system.    

Faculty should complete entering data into HuskyDM by June 1, 2024. As of that date, data in HuskyDM will begin migrating into FAR and no new additions after June 1 will be included. Administrators will retain access to pull reports from HuskyDM through June 30th, the end date of the HuskyDM contract.  

New Faculty Orientation & New Associate Dean/Department Head Orientation 

Each year, the Provost’s Office hosts orientation sessions for new faculty and incoming associate deans and department heads. Both events will be hosted on August 23, 2024. Additional details will be shared in the coming months.  


May 27: Memorial Day 

June 18: Juneteenth