Dear CSCU Community:
Over the last few days, while you have been preparing for the end of the semester and the many other responsibilities before you, we have received some concerning news from our state capitol.
There were revised budgets released by the Governor, Senate Republicans, House Republicans, and a joint budget by Senate and House Democrats, in attempt to address the looming $2.2 and $2.7 billion deficits the state faces for the next two fiscal years. All four proposals include severe additional cuts in funding to our system, on top of the $38 million in cuts which the Governor proposed back in February. They range from an additional $5.4 million to our state universities and $19 million to our community colleges in the Governor’s and Republican’s budgets to upwards of $90 million to the system overall in the Democrats budget.
Budget negotiations will start today and last for the next several weeks. To be clear, these are not the final numbers. However, these proposals do give us an indication of what is to come for our system and our state. Our new best case scenario may be a cut of over $62 million for the system in the next biennium.
These decreases in funding have the potential to profoundly change how we educate our students. These cuts would greatly impact the sustainability of many of our institutions. These budget figures go well beyond the savings targets we were planning for under the Students First strategies. If our system does get a cut of this magnitude, it will force us to go back and explore options that we frankly did not want to consider including closing campuses, eliminating certain student services and making significant workforce reductions.
I will continue to advocate for our students and our institutions in the weeks ahead. I will keep all of you informed as we learn more about the budget in the coming weeks, but you can also help by calling and emailing your legislators. Please use the link below to contact your legislators and tell them that budget cuts of this magnitude will not only impact our student’s education, and the survival of our institutions, but the future economic competitiveness of our state.
Mark E. Ojakian
President, Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
For more information, please contact:
Maribel La Luz