(CBS Connecticut) — There was a mix of concerns, questions, and suggestions on how to save money today, as Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian visited Tunxis Community College to pitch his plan for administrative consolidation and a tuition increase.

The system must close a $35-million deficit amid cuts in state funding.

Student Christina Volpe says she wants to make sure she still gets what she pays for if tuition is increased.

“You can’t say budget cuts and students first in the same sentence, without students being effected negatively in some kind of way,” Volpe said.

Other students suggested saving money by eliminating a few high-paid deans, or by switching students from paid work-study to an unpaid internship for credit.

Ojakian is holding forums at schools across his system of community colleges and state universities.

Some staff were concerned about job losses.

Ojakian favors a hiring freeze and attrition, but he would NOT rule out layoffs.


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