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The recent announcement of the potential expansion for UConn Stamford may pose some legitimate competition to the Dolan School of Business when it comes to prospective business school students, especially in the New York and Stamford area. Is the administration worried?

“Fairfield is always interested in changes in educational options in our area,” said Judith Dubai, the Vice President for Enrollment Management. Dubai adds, “We also know that a Fairfield education is unique and more individually focused than what might be the typical UConn experience.”

The proposed UConn expansion was disclosed by Jud Suviskas, the director of undergraduate and graduate programs for the UConn School of Business, at a Stamford meeting of the Fairfield County Public Relations Association. This “expansion” in the making, with no set start date, will likely effect prospective graduate school students rather than potential undergraduates  looking at Fairfield.

“The Stamford market has the most relevance for our graduate business programs, where we draw Masters of Business Administration, Master of Science Accounting and Master of Science Finance students,” said Dr. Donald Gibson the Dean of the Dolan School of Business. He continued by stating, “the proposed expansion means that we need to continue our efforts to distinguish Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business from competitors such as UConn, by emphasizing our strengths in ethics, leadership, accounting and finance.”

Some speculate that in order to take full advantage of UConn Stamford the creation of a dormitory campus is necessary. The obvious benefit is that students in the New York metro area that would not typically have interest in attending school over 70 miles away in rural Storrs would consider going to school in the much more convenient Stamford. Additionally, the vibrant nightlife in Stamford and New York can be used as a major tool in recruiting.

The expansion could also be used as a tool for getting internships in the greater Stamford area. This, in turn, leads to greater job opportunities, something that Fairfield markets particularly well.

“We should maintain and maybe increase our ties in the Stamford and NYC area,” said Dr. Mousumi Bhattacharya, an Associate Professor of Management. Dr. Bhattacharya proclaims, “We place a number of students in companies in this region and that should continue.”

Area business leaders consider Fairfield University to be a relatively strong local school, with one of the best reputations in Connecticut. These leaders do not necessarily consider Fairfield as having particularly strong ties to Stamford, and the New York City region. However, this is most likely not a reason one would chose a school like UConn Stamford over a school with Fairfield’s prestige.

“Here at Fairfield, we take pride in the accessibility of the faculty to students”, said long time accounting professor Paul Caster. He adds, “I think it is important to develop the whole person and I also believe we have a strong emphasis on ethical behavior. Our recruiting will continue to emphasize the value of a Jesuit education. UConn Stamford will not be able to offer that.”

There are 59 Fortune 500 companies in New York City, Fairfield and Westchester counties. This leaves the question: Is Fairfield doing enough to keep up with its competition?

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