(CBS Connecticut) — Central Connecticut State University’s faculty senate late this afternoon voted no confidence in the leadership of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system.

The move is in response to a $40-million cost-cutting plan from system president Mark Ojakian.  The specifics of the plan have yet to be presented, but it includes a reorganization of support staff, and the consolidation of the leadership of some community colleges.

Professor David Blitz, who proposed the no-confidence vote at CCSU, said the centralization of support staff would impact students.

“The so-called distinction between front office and back office is really a mirage,” Blitz said.  “The whole system has to function as a whole.”

Blitz said consolidating support staff will make it harder to hire faculty, and harder to get tech support for equipment used to teach classes.

One professor compared participating in the cost-cutting plan with being asked to help build a guillotine that will then kill you.

The professors mostly backed away from a proposal that they not participate in the implementation of the cost-cutting plan.  They changed the proposal to instead limit their participation, at least in theory.

The professors will take part in the implementation of the cost-cutting plan only to protect their rights as faculty members and union members, to represent school identity, and to represent students.

Some CCSU faculty members described Ojakian as a bully, and warned of retribution against their campus.

The vote was 39-10 in favor of no confidence.

The other three state universities are apparently not planning no confidence votes at this time, but Manchester Community College may do so, according to leaders of the CCSU faculty senate.

Ojakian will visit campus tomorrow.  A rally is planned at 12:30.


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