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March 2014
Board of Regents President Gregory W. Gray Dear Colleagues,

This is a time of remarkable momentum for our Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) as we prepare our students for success in a rapidly changing world and build on programs that connect them directly to the needs of our state's businesses and industries.

Our transformational plan — Transform CSCU 2020 — will build on the potential of our colleges and universities as we unite our 17 institutions into one interdependent system designed to improve student learning and ensure the effectiveness, affordability and sustainability of our entire system.

The success of our plan is made possible in large part by the dedication of our faculty who continue to achieve national acclaim and support our students in every imaginable way. Our faculty and talented staff are the two primary reasons that Transform CSCU 2020 will be successful in providing high quality education to our students as they achieve their life and career goals.

As our state's system of colleges and universities, CSCU offers accessible and affordable post-secondary education, while making Connecticut a place of engaged, globally competitive communities. A post-secondary education is not only critical for students to achieve personal success, but also plays a key role in statewide economic expansion and stability. By the year 2020, it is projected that 70 percent of all jobs in Connecticut will require a post-secondary education.

Our ultimate vision is to create and sustain a system-wide range of resources for our 120,000 students by identifying efficiencies that will stretch families' tuition dollars, make it easier for students to navigate between colleges and universities to access available resources, and provide our students with the best education facilities available. A system approach will:
  • Enhance student learning and promote higher graduation rates by increasing options for when and how students learn.
  • Provide innovative curricula and facilitate creative teaching to supply Connecticut businesses with the talent they need to prosper, and students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in the 21st century.
  • Advance our ability to plan and operate more efficiently as a unified system.
  • Bolster competitiveness, innovation and effectiveness in the years ahead, using both professional staff and technology to facilitate the educational experience.
But, most importantly, Transform CSCU 2020 is framed by one undisputable principle — students first. We are the state's local system of higher education as 96 percent of our students are Connecticut residents and 35 percent of Connecticut's high school graduates are enrolled at one of our 17 schools. Our system awards more than 15,000 degrees annually and about 80 percent of graduates opt to stay in Connecticut to live and work.

The priority initiatives for Transform CSCU 2020 and student success will focus in several key areas: enrollment, information technology, facilities, curriculum delivery, workforce preparation, system-wide efficiency, delivering the workforce of tomorrow, holding tuition increases to a minimum and transparency. These initiatives reflect our core values and will bolster enrollment, strengthen online learning capacity, and require us to work closely in collaboration with the business community to better align coursework with state-defined industry growth sectors.

While each institution will maintain its unique identity and mission, the strategic use of our collective resources will build on each of the institutions' particular strengths. Students will benefit from multiple pathways between the 17 campuses, expanding opportunities and accomplishing shared goals for accessibility and affordability.

From streamlining administrative functions to improving student transfer and completion rates, our plan will build on rigorous academic programs and modernize the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities for the benefit of our students and state.

Finally, we must garner an appreciation and passion for excellence — for our students' success, our classroom instruction, and in our organizational effectiveness that we will build on and extend for years to come.

Sincerely,
Gregory W. Gray
Gregory W. Gray
President
Board of Regents for Higher Education
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU)



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