Our View: State college system must adjust to financial reality

Published on Saturday, 29 April 2017 22:20
Written by STAFF


As we said a month ago when this idea was first proposed, we don’t want to see anyone lose their jobs but if cuts have to be made; and they do; the first consideration should be to protect student learning. This plan does exactly that.

You can’t spend money you don’t have - at least, long-term. That’s true for you, it’s true for us and even for legislators struggling to craft a state budget.

Given that simple truth, we’re having a hard time understanding why The Central Connecticut State University Faculty Senate is opposing change, despite the fact that the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is facing a projected $35 million decrease in funding from the state, which, of course, is struggling with its own deficit.

Fortunately, CSCU President Mark Ojakian isn’t sitting still. He has crafted a plan that calls for the consolidation of “back office” services in the CSCU system such as purchasing, human resources, information technology and facilities management. The goal is to cut costs - by perhaps as much as $41 million -without affecting the experience of CSCU students.

But, rather than embrace this plan, CCSU’s faculty senate voted 39-10, proclaiming no confidence in CSCU leadership.

Frankly, we’re puzzled. Under Ojakian’s plan, aimed at protecting students, teachers’ jobs are not in jeopardy. All Ojakian is trying to do it introduce a sensible business structure to schools that have grown - and sprawled - over the years, with each campus duplicating services.

“We have 17 different institutions purchasing pens separately. Each of our institutions bids out their food service separately. Does that make sense?” Ojakian asked.

And, of course, the answer is no.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Column on Saturday, 29 April 2017 22:20. Updated: Saturday, 29 April 2017 23:53.