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“There is always going to be a reaction to substantial change,” says newly installed CSCU regional president Thomas Coley, whose oversight includes Bridgeport's Housatonic and Norwalk Community College, “which is what you’re witnessing now. It takes time and conversation.”
"It is very common when you suddenly encounter very different writing projects than what you had before," said Kelli Custer.
According to revised estimates from the state comptroller’s office, the cost of fringe benefits will be less than expected, though the precise impact on such community colleges as Norwalk and Housatonic is uncertain.
Meanwhile, faculty at five community colleges and two state universities have delivered votes of no confidence in a plan to consolidate the state's 12 community colleges into one system.
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.
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.
"There are many new members in the General Assembly this year, so we have to educate them about our system and what we do," says Ojakian of the organization that's weighing a variety of tuition scenarios for the 2019-20 school year.
"This ensures we’re doing the best we can to train students for their chosen field," said Robin Housemann, chairwoman of WCSU’s Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences.
The study is part of CSCU’s ongoing effort to prove to state lawmakers – and Gov.-elect Ned Lamont – the need for economic support.
“Although it was a small sampling, we found significant improvement from the participants," said Gustafson about the 17 veterans and their families in the program.
“We’re moving forward on a number of fronts, collaborating with everyone from the mayor’s office and zoning to commercial and retail developers,” says Betsy Paynter, executive director of CityCenter Danbury.
Among the schools in the CSCU system are Norwalk Community College, Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
The best school in the country, according to the publication's annual rankings, is Princeton University.