Special to the Press
The faculty senate at Central Connecticut State University will vote Monday on a resolution of no confidence in a plan proposed by the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, Mark Ojakian, after dissatisfaction has been expressed.
The resolution calls for the abandonment of the plan that some say will negatively impact the four state universities, 12 community colleges and one online college.
The no confidence resolution explains that the plan “promoted educational practices not in the best interest of our students,” and “failed to complete a reasonable strategic plan for CSCU that could be supported by faculty, staff and students, despite attempting to do so for almost two years.”
According to the resolution, faculty members were not included in the development and feedback was not taken into account, in the “Student First” plan being promoted Ojakian and endorsed by the Board of Regents for Higher Education.
It also stated the principles of shared governance “require authentic opportunities for faculty participation,” and the president has not engaged in meaningful discussion of academic and pedagogical policy.”
The Board of Regents of the CSCU system has not respected the mission universities have put forth, or the difference between the universities and community colleges, the resolution states.
Student Government Treasurer Brendan Kruh, who has been elected president for next academic year, agrees a distinction between community colleges and universities needs to be made, because the plan will impact community colleges the most.
“This plan could be detrimental for all Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, but it will impact community colleges the most,” said Kruh. “This is Ojakian’s plan about how to mitigate the four percent increase all universities and community colleges just saw.”
A public hearing was held at the state Capitol where Ojakian said that over the next two years, he expects to let go 450 non-essential employees without a specific plan for cuts and layoffs, according to Kruh, who added that Ojakian hopes individuals will retire rather than being let go.
“I personally don’t see this happening,” said Kruh. “All positions are important. I’ve met many non-front facing administration and they are essential to the university.”
Kruh explained he is not in favor of any cuts to the system and that one aspect of the plan would eliminate seven of the eight CSCU presidents and appoint one to overlook all the universities.
In response to the proposed plan, the student government is aiming to create an external affairs committee to energize students to get involved in state legislation, explained Kruh.