As reported by the New London Day, July 14, 2007.

Science and Engineering Academy Role in UConn Study Is Unchanged

By Alan C. Eckbreth

This is in response to the editorial titled “Last-minute skullduggery,” published on July 6. The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) was named by the General Assembly in Special Act 07-10 “to conduct a needs-based analysis of The University of Connecticut Health Center facilities plan.”

The editorial misstates that the academy's role was part of the “new arrangement” — that is the change in having the study contracted through the Office of Legislative Management as compared to the Office of Health Care Access. This is not the case. CASE was named in the original proposed legislation to conduct the analysis. That has not changed. The outstanding issue that the General Assembly needs to resolve so that the project can commence is which office will be responsible for the contracting.

The second issue implied by The Day is that a “claim” could be made that CASE has a conflict of interest since several of its members are UConn professors. CASE membership includes several distinguished UConn professors; however, it is not fair and is misleading the public to imply that simply because some of its members are from UConn, that CASE has a conflict of interest.

CASE is well aware of the sensitive nature of this study and its importance to Connecticut, and will use its best efforts to provide an objective, balanced study for the General Assembly's consideration and guidance. We can assure you that CASE members who have affiliations with UConn and/or Hartford-area hospitals will not be involved in or have any role in this project. Whatever our findings, and no matter how impartial we are in arriving at them, they will be examined in detail by five committees of the General Assembly (Appropriations; Commerce; Finance, Revenue and Bonding; Higher Education; and Public Health,) the governor's office, the Office of Health Care Access; Hartford-area hospitals; the media; and the public.

To understand why CASE was chosen by the General Assembly to conduct this study it is important to understand who we are and what we do.

CASE is a nonprofit institution patterned after the National Academies that was created in 1976 by a special act of the General Assembly. The academy's membership, limited to 250 distinguished Connecticut scientists, physicians, economists and engineers, is elected by its membership. Membership in CASE is both honorific and public service oriented.

The academy's legislatively mandated mission is to provide expert guidance on science and technology to the people and the state of Connecticut, and promote the application of science and technology to human welfare and economic well being by: advising government leaders; strengthening Connecticut's student science and technology programs; and informing Connecticut's citizenry on science and technology topics

For more than 30 years, the academy has provided the state with a readily available resource for timely access to sound objective technical advice, guidance and leadership. During this period, the academy has performed more than 65 in-depth studies for the Connecticut General Assembly and state agencies — many of which resulted in policy or law changes. The academy's convening authority allows it to engage the best technical experts from Connecticut, across the nation, and the world to address issues of concern to Connecticut.

Recent studies completed for the state include: “Guidelines for Developing a Strategic Plan for Connecticut's Stem Cell Research Program”; “Energy Alternatives and Conservation”; “Evaluating the Impact of Supplementary Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Educational Programs”; “Advanced Communications Technologies”; “Preparing for the Hydrogen Economy”; “Improving Winter Highway Maintenance – Case Studies for CT's Consideration”; “Information Technology Systems for Use in Incident Management & Work Zones”; “Assessment of a Connecticut Technology Seed Capital Fund/Program”; “Demonstration & Evaluation of Hybrid Diesel-Electric Transit Buses”; “An Evaluation of Asbestos Exposures in Occupied Space”; and Long Island Sound Symposium – A Study of Benthic Habitats.”