Ahead of the governor’s budget proposal Feb. 6, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed Jan. 31 a $1.5 billion investment into the University of Connecticut’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
The proposal is an attempt to position the school as a leading research institution, fueling the state’s economy with new technologies, companies, patents and high-wage jobs.
“Connecticut used to lead the world when it came to innovation—we had more patents, more groundbreaking discoveries than anywhere else in the world,” Malloy said in a press release. “Somewhere along the way the world caught up. This is about to change.”
The investment calls for a 30 percent increase in enrollment, nearly 260 new faculty members and $1.5 billion in bonding to build new STEM facilities, labs, upgraded information technology and additional housing and parking.
“By targeting state resources to our flagship university, we ensure that our young people have the skills they need to fill the jobs we are so aggressively pursuing,” Malloy said. “Make no mistake, we are making Connecticut competitive again.”
The expanded focus on STEM is expected to attract $270 million in research, $527 million in business activity and more than 4,000 permanent jobs over the next 10 years. The investment is in addition to Malloy’s recent proposal to invest an additional $200 million into the bioscience sector, which included continued support for UConn’s Health Center.
“This initiative will create and support the very jobs we need to be an economically vibrant and successful state in the future,” said UConn President Susan Herbst in a press release. “In this era, more than ever, states must rely on their public research universities to be the backbone and the driver of economic success – and that is exactly what this proposal would accomplish.”