(CBS Connecticut) — Professors today attacked cost-cutting consolidation plans at community colleges and state schools other than UConn.
Some of the professors wore red T-shirts or held signs reading ‘Students First,’ followed by a question mark, referring to the name of the cost-cutting proposal.
The professors told the board of regents that the plans are a ‘massive assault on the quality of higher education.’
They said their input on the proposal was ignored or erased.
Some of the professors accused Ojakian of bullying.
System President mark Ojakian says there are misperceptions about the strategies he is pursuing to make the schools sustainable in the long-term.
Those plans could include consolidating office functions and community college leadership.
The system faces a budget cut of 4.4 percent, but that cut could worsen after a big drop in state tax revenue.
The system must also deal with budget cuts ordered by the governor to close an almost 400-million dollar deficit in the current fiscal year.
Those cuts must be enacted on spending between now and the end of the fiscal year at the end of June.
Chairman of the Board of Regents Matt Fleury said the real crisis is helping students struggling to afford schools in the CSCU system.
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system administrators say some of the ideas being criticized were just suggestions, released internally to spur creative thinking.