April 29, 2019
Where’s the governor? In office for 100 days, we’ve heard from the him on tolls, legalizing marijuana, the economy, and the Board of Trustees shakeup at the University of Connecticut — though it has fewer than half the number of students attending community colleges and the other state universities. But no word on community college consolidation.
Dozens of articles, op-eds, letters to the editor, petitions, protests, proposed legislation and special legislative forums, cogent analysis and arguments have challenged Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian’s failed consolidation plan. The analysis is clear: comparisons to other consolidated institutions are baseless and consolidation will not save money.
It is a power grab and boondoggle in progress. Yet, Ojakian proceeds unfettered, as though his idea is a success, even though the college accrediting agency rejected his so-called Students First consolidation proposal.
Where’s Gov. Ned Lamont? A rumor is that he is behind the special legislative forum that investigated the Students First consolidation proposal. But other rumors are that he will use his first veto to kill the proposed law requiring legislative approval of any college consolidation or closure (as it was before 2011).
Citizens have a right to know the governor’s position on this flawed consolidation plan – the most destructive proposal in decades for Connecticut higher education.
Faculty, students, staff and concerned citizens demand a clear statement of his position. Only then, can we take action.
Charlene LaVoie is Director of the Office of the Community Lawyer in Winsted.