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Multimillion-dollar construction projects, enrollment numbers, a new branding initiative and, according to WCSU President John Clark, the overall atmosphere are all positive signs at the 116-year-old university.
Average tuition and fees at CSCU universities -- including WestConn in Danbury -- will increase by $479 or 4.4 percent for an in-state undergraduate commuter student and by $860 or 3.6 percent for in-state residential students.
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system has been wrestling with ways to make up what it says could be a $57 million shortfall.
A final vote on the proposed 5 percent increase at Danbury's Western Connecticut State and three other universities will take place on March 28.
Still looming: the effect of the Small Business Administration's closure. “We’ve got loans that have been approved or are in the process of being approved that are waiting for the SBA,” says Patriot Bank President Richard Muskus Jr. “The SBA had better be ready for a tidal wave of backlog.”
The Westport resident will remain with the State Colleges and Universities system as Presidential Fellow from July 1 to June 30, 2020.
The study is part of CSCU’s ongoing effort to prove to state lawmakers – and Gov.-elect Ned Lamont – the need for economic support.
Before joining the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, Barnes was the operating officer for the Bridgeport Public Schools.
“We're looking at negative numbers year after year, and that's really distressing,” said Board of Regents member Richard J. Balducci. “We're in trouble.”
The revised “Students First” plan calls for the consolidation to take place in 2023, the hiring of three regional presidents in 2019 and the gradual elimination of 117 jobs, mostly administrative in nature.
“These raises again demonstrate how SEBAC has drained the Connecticut budget of funding for job programs, health care, elderly supports, social services and clearly even students,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano.
The 31-0 vote comes about three weeks after the faculty senate at Central Connecticut State University called for CSCU President Mark Ojakian's resignation.
Ojakian spurns criticism and demands for his resignation. I’m a lot tougher than I look, he says. ”I don’t have a lot of tolerance for people criticizing from the sidelines.”
The colleges face a cumulative deficit of $144 million by fiscal year 2021, according to Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian.
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