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Charles “Skip” Lowe, longtime psychology head, dies

Charles “Skip” Lowe, professor of psychology and interim dean of the UConn graduate school, passed away on June 20 in his home in the company of his family. He was 69 years old.

A member of the UConn faculty for more than 40 years, Skip was department head of psychology for 13 years, up until 2011. He served briefly as the Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.

During his time at UConn, Lowe was renowned for building his department into a national leader in the study of psychology. The department is recognized as being second in the nation in national research expenditures, and its social psychology division is considered among the best.

“Skip was department head for 13 years, which is a remarkable achievement and speaks to how well everyone thought of him,” said current psychology Department Head James Green. “He was an award-winning teacher and a great leader. We’re all going to really miss him.”

Lowe helped to build opportunities for graduate students to expand their research productivity. He increased annual funding for graduate students in the psychology department and made travel funds available so they could present research papers at national conferences. With that incentive, graduate students were able to publish more papers and earn more federal grant money, which improved the department’s ability to recruit nationally.

His contributions were not limited to his department, as he served in numerous roles for the American Association of University Professors, UConn’s University Senate and numerous committees as an advocate for academic excellence, in particular graduate education.

“Skip had a keen mind, wisdom brought by experience, a kind and generous heart and a wonderful sense of humor,” said College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Jeremy Teitelbaum. “Through his many contributions over such an extended career, he played a significant role in building the University of Connecticut into the strong institution we see today.”

Renovations to the Weston A. Bousfield Psychology Building, set to be completed in 2014, will include an atrium named for Lowe. Trustee Francis Archambault Jr., who presented the proposal to the Board, has said that he hopes that popular acclaim will cause the bright, sun-filled atrium to be called “The Skip”.

Green notes that the atrium tribute is befitting: Lowe envisioned a place where students could gather and talk about psychology since, as Green says, Lowe himself loved nothing more than to sit and talk about psychology.

Lowe attended Gloucester High School in Massachusetts and received his undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College. He attended the University of New Hampshire for a master’s degree in clinical psychology and the Carnegie Institute of Technology for a master’s in organizational psychology. He earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University.

A Facebook page has been created where friends and family can post recollections about Skip: http://www.facebook.com/SkipLoweUConn  You can also read about Skip’s love of baseball and his recent post as Dean of the UConn Graduate School here. More information on the tribute atrium can he found here.


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