Archive: Oct 2014

  1. More on CT higher ed funding

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    In today’s economy, a college education is essential for getting a good job and entering the middle class. Yet, despite this reality, college costs are rising beyond the reach of many Connecticutters. State policy decisions have played a significant role in this rise by shifting costs onto students and families through declining state support. Connecticut’s investment in higher education has decreased considerably over the past two decades, and its financial aid programs, though still some of the country’s most expansive, fail to reach many students with financial need. Students and their families now pay—or borrow—much more than they can afford to get a higher education, a trend which will have grave consequences for Connecticut’s future economy.


  2. Connecticut is one of the few states that did not slash its higher ed budget.

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    When they are being pounded for having raised their students’ tuition, public college leaders are quick in turn to point the finger at legislators and governors in their states,whose cuts in financing for higher education are overwhelmingly responsible for the tuition increases.

    A new report from the Center for American Progress details — on a state-by-state basis — the extent to which recession-driven reductions in public college financing since 2008 have sent tuitions soaring, and how disproportionately low- and middle-income students and the institutions that serve them have been affected.



  3. Parking update

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    On Monday, November 3, new shuttle bus schedules will go into effect. The changes are based on your feedback, ridership data, and our continuous improvement efforts. Please note that most of the schedules have changes in departure times and pick-up/drop-off locations. The new schedules are posted on UConn Health Express and the Public Safety website. Please take the opportunity to review the schedules carefully. We will monitor ridership data and make adjustments if necessary.


    Here is a summary of the changes:


    Route 1: Main / MARB / Dowling South / Dowling North:

    This route is intended to transport patients, visitors, and staff to clinical locations on the main campus. It departs from the Main Entrance every 20 minutes beginning at 8 a.m., and stops at the MARB (Medical Arts and Research Building), Dowling South, and Dowling North.


    Route 2: Main / 195 Farmington Ave. / 10 Talcott Notch Road / 230 Farmington Ave. / Exchange / 21 South Road

    This route is intended to transport patients, visitors, and staff to off-campus locations along and near Farmington Ave. A new stop has been added at 195 Farmington Ave. The bus no longer stops at 400 Farmington Ave. (Cell and Genome Sciences Building – CGSB).The Route 4 bus will now serve  400 Farmington Ave. The Route 2 bus departs from the Main Entrance every 30 minutes beginning at 8 a.m., and stops at 195 Farmington Ave., 10 Talcott Notch Road, 230 Farmington Ave., The Exchange, and 21 South Road before returning to the Main Entrance.


    Route 3: Academic / Munson Road

    This route will now exclusively travel between the Academic Entrance and Munson Road. It departs from Munson Road every 15 minutes beginning at 7:45 a.m. The last pickup at Munson Road is at 5:30 p.m.


    Route 4: 400 Farmington Ave. / Lot 3 / Dowling Way / Academic Entrance / Dowling Way / Lot 3 /400 Farmington Ave.

    Route 4 now provides service to and from 400 Farmington Ave. (Cell and Genome Sciences Building – CGSB) and the Academic Entrance via Shuttle lot 3 and Dowling Way. This route will provide service every 20 minutes. Beginning at 6:20 a.m., the route departs from the CGSB, proceeds to Shuttle Lot 3, Dowling Way (convenient stop for Jackson Labs) and then to the Academic Entrance. From the Academic Entrance, the bus travels to Dowling Way, Lot 3, and 400 Farmington Ave. The trip between 400 Farmington Ave. and the Academic Entrance will take about 9 minutes.


    Route 5: Garage 1 – Level 6 / Academic Entrance

    This route will now exclusively travel between Garage 1 and the Academic Entrance every 10 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


    Night Bus: Main Entrance / Garage 1 / MARB  / Lot 3

    This route departs from the Main Entrance every 15 minutes from 5:30 p.m. to midnight and stops at Garage 1 level 6, the MARB, and Lot 3.



    “Traveler permit applications” for those who have requested reserved parking based on clinical or other operational needs are under final review by senior management. Locations for traveler permit parking are also under final review and will be communicated soon.


    A task force including a small group of employees is also evaluating other ways to address parking concerns and expects to be able to report additional adjustments very shortly.



    A special parking permit system has been established to provide short term parking spaces for service vehicles and other specific clinical and business needs at various locations on campus. For example, spaces will be reserved at the East and West loading docks for purposes such as tissue specimen and research animal deliveries. Also, a limited number of parking spaces have been reserved at various building sites for Facilities, IT, and contractor repair service vehicles where needed to maintain our buildings.



    Several parking spaces in “D” lot were previously designed and marked with a smaller width to increase the capacity of the parking lots. Signs will be placed shortly to indicate which spaces these are. Please avoid parking in these spaces if you have a large vehicle to avoid damage from adjacent cars and to allow individuals sufficient space to get in and out of their cars.



    Employees are reminded that dedicated motorcycle parking is provided in Garage 1 at the entrance to level 1, a short shuttle bus ride to the main building. Based on your feedback, a few additional motorcycle parking spaces have been designated at Munson Road. Addition of a few motorcycle parking spaces are planned for Garage 3.  Accommodations for dedicated motorcycle parking at the Academic Entrance are planned with the Academic Building Expansion project and associated parking area modifications.



    The Parking and Transportation office will soon be moving from the Academic Building to a new location on the 3rd floor of the Administrative Services Building (ASB). After that move occurs, future business related to parking, valet, and shuttle bus service will be conducted at the new location. Two, 30 minute limit, parking spaces will be reserved in the ASB, and marked by signs for those needing to conduct business with the new office.


    CT TRANSIT bus schedules have been posted at the Academic Entrance. Copies of the schedules are also available there. The number “66” bus departs from the Academic and Main Entrance bus stops and travels to and from Hartford via Farmington Avenue. The “F” bus provides service to and from New Britain. It stops at the main entrance but not the academic entrance, then stops at lower campus. Please consider using this alternate form of transportation if convenient to where you live.


    As always, the UConn Health community is encouraged to send suggestions and questions to


    Thank you.


    Clifford Ashton / Associate Vice President / Facilities Management

    Carolle Andrews / Chief Administrative Officer

  4. AAUP comes to SHU

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    The addition of an AAUP chapter to Seton Hall’s campus will allow for the promotion of the “values of academic freedom on our campus, including full freedom for professors in research and publication, freedom in the classroom to discuss their subject, along with respect for the opinion of others,” said the new chapter’s president Roseanne Mirabella.

  5. Financial Issues from Delay in Processing Hybrid Purchases

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    To: SEBAC Higher Ed Leadership
    From: Dan Livingston
    Re: Financial Issues from Delay in Processing Hybrid Purchases
    Date: 10/22/14
    You asked me to respond to a concern expressed to some of you that the delay in consummating Hybrid
    plan purchases due to the backlog could have a negative financial impact on members. To analyze this
    we need to look at the dual nature of the Hybrid plan.
    As you know, the essence of the Hybrid is that members can choose the nature of their retirement plan
    when they retire instead of when they are employed. That is, the member can, upon retirement,
    choose to treat their entitlement as a defined benefit plan and get the same monthly benefit as they
    would get under the equivalent tier of SERS; or they can instead treat their entitlement as a defined
    contribution plan and receive their contributions, the employer contributions, and 4% annual interest on
    both. Those moving from ARP to the Hybrid have the same option – they don’t have to make their
    final decision about the nature of their plan until they retire.
    For those members who choose upon retirement to treat the plan as a defined benefit plan, there is no
    impact from the delay in consummating the Hybrid purchase, since the member begins accumulating
    service once he or she is placed in “pending status” (meaning the application is complete), not once the
    actual purchase is consummated. So in this respect the delay is irrelevant to the member.
    For those members who choose upon retirement to treat the plan as a defined contribution plan, there
    is also no impact, but the explanation is a little more complex. If the 4% guaranteed interest wasn’t
    calculated until after the purchase is completed, the member would be harmed financially because
    during the delay the money must be in the stable value fund which earns typically over 2 but well less
    than 4% interest. However, the 4% interest is calculated back to the same date (the pending status
    date), not the date the purchase is completed. So there is no harm done the member. The only
    special arrangement that needs to be made is that the stable value fund interest rate that the member
    earned during the delay period is offset against the 4% Hybrid rate, since otherwise the member would
    be getting interest twice on the same sum.
    Finally some members have expressed concern that the purchase cost for past service is affected by the
    delay in invoicing. That is not correct. The purchase price is computed based upon the day the
    application goes into “pending” not the day the transfer is made.
    I hope this answers the questions you’ve been receiving. The delay is unfortunate, but it attests to the
    strong interest members have in this new option (and unfortunately also to the very tight staffing levels
    at the Comptroller’s office, like everywhere else in state service). But it does not have a negative
    financial impact on members.

  6. Parking

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    We would like to update you on our efforts to advocate on your behalf concerning the ill-conceived parking scheme. From the very beginning, we warned the administration about the plan’s numerous difficulties. Despite this, it went forward anyway. Since then, we have been voicing your concerns with the aim of ameliorating its worst aspects. We were an early champion of the band-aid approach of soliciting volunteers for Garage 1 and ensuring that the students who arrived in late August did not exacerbate the problem.
    We are also pleased that the administration recently adopted our idea of creating a Traveler permit for those of you that frequently leave and return to campus in a single day, as well as those whom have emergency clinical responsibilities. Such a permit will allow access to a special parking area. If you are interested in applying, please fill out the attached form. The deadline for this form is Wednesday, October 1. 2014.
    While these measures are piece-meal, we eagerly push for a long-term solution. The outline of this may not be apparent until after the new out-patient building opens in January. The administration predicts a couple of hundred employees will move to Garage 1 at that time. Until then, we will stay engaged.
    Further, for those of you that have particular concerns, we are convening a special meeting on October 8, 2014 at 5pm at the Massey auditorium. We understand that parking is of paramount importance to you right now. In fact, about half of all responses to the parking survey were from faculty. We are committed to seeing that your frustration is heard and that the administration follows through to rectify this crisis.

  7. Jackson Lab opens

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    Jackson lab opens! Not necessarily a political story, but at least one reporter thought so.



  8. Study pegs UConn’s economic impact at $3.39B

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    A new independent study shows that UCONN and UCONN Health’s impact on the state to be $3.39 billion. For more on this from UCONN Today see