September 28, 2012
The fall semester is now in full swing. Once again the College enrollment increased with a 6% increase in undergraduate enrollment and a 10% increase in graduate numbers. As of the 10th day, undergraduate enrollment stands at 1,876 and graduate enrollment at 205. The largest increases occurred in Natural Resources followed by Allied Health Sciences. Our College was cited by USA Today as having the second fastest growing enrollment among colleges of agriculture and related sciences in the nation over the past decade!
On September 21, the College celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act that established the land grant university system of which UConn is a proud member. As part of this national celebration, the College presented a symposium for the campus community and held a celebratory dinner for faculty, staff, alums and friends. USDA, Under Secretary Kevin Concannon joined us for both events. As our dinner speaker, he reflected on the importance of the federal – land grant university partnership that is critical for addressing important national issues such as childhood obesity and food insecurity. The dinner also included a reflection on our past by Mark Roy and a short vignette by Just Morrill himself (played by Richard Weingart). This celebration gave us a great opportunity to reflect on our past and look forward to our future as a land grant university.
Recently, I took a tour of the Young Building to check on the progress of our renovation. The demolition phase was nearly complete and they expected to begin to put up new interior walls soon. A portion of the building now rests on steel beams and wooden frames until new concrete pillars are poured to support the building. It was amazing to stand in the front entryway and be able to see nothing but open space and a few support pillars all the way to the end of the building. As of now, we appear to be on track for our fall 2013 completion.
In a few short weeks, I will be returning to China to sign formal agreements with several Chinese institutions establishing a joint Master’s program in Resource Economics and three 3+2 programs that will greatly increase both graduate and undergraduate enrollment in the College for highly qualified Chinese students. We will also explore new opportunities for research collaborations.
Dr. Mike O’Neill will join us in November as our new Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach and Associate Director of the Cooperative Extension System. Over the next few months, Mike will be visiting our extension centers and meeting key stakeholders as he begins to familiarize himself with our system.
Gregory J. Weidemann
Dean and Director