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Officials to discuss downtown education initiatives with Hartford business leaders (Released: 3/26/98

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

Storrs, Conn. -- University of Connecticut President Philip E. Austin will meet with senior business leaders in the Hartford area on Tuesday, March 31, at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the development of a variety of downtown education initiatives that will be offered by UConn at Travelers education center.

Austin will be joined by Board of Trustees Chair Roger A. Gelfienbein, Chancellor Mark A. Emmert and School of Business Administration dean Thomas Gutteridge as they meet with more than 30 business leaders on the 18th floor of Travelers Tower building in Constitution Plaza.

In January, the University and Travelers Group announced an agreement designed to bolster the development of the financial services industry in Hartford. It offers the University use of 30,000 square feet at Travelers education center for three years. UConn will offer credit and non-credit courses in finance, insurance, information technology, healthcare management and business.

"The initiative forms a partnership with the University and the Hartford business community to enhance the economic development of the state of Connecticut and to assist in the economic revitalization of the downtown area," Gutteridge says. "In order to do that, UConn will begin offering a bachelor of general studies and MBA program at the Travelers education center beginning this summer."

He says business leaders will have an opportunity to identify their educational and human resource needs on Tuesday, and the University will then develop programs and course offerings that are responsive to those needs.

Hartford Mayor Michael P. Peters says he is pleased that the business and higher education communities are finding new ways to work together to create growth in the Hartford area.

"As the economy picks up in our region," says Peters, "a trained workforce is critical to our ability to grow. The creative arrangement between UConn and the Travelers will bring one of our top schools in the state into the heart of the business community to help sharpen the skills of our labor force."

President Austin believes the University’s agreement with Travelers Group will lead to a variety of important linkages between UConn and the Hartford business community, much like the relationship the University now has in the downtown Stamford area. Those linkages helped create the Connecticut Information Technology Institute (CITI), an unparalleled alliance between the information technology industry and UConn.

"We are extremely proud of CITI," says Austin, "and I am confident that with the help and commitment of the Hartford business community, similar advancements can be realized here."