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

Transform CSCU 2020 is an optimistic and exciting plan for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities as we will build on the plan's objectives for improving the student learning experience, degree completion, expanding academic and workforce training programs, and creating stronger partnerships with the state's manufacturers, employers and other stakeholder groups.

Transform is based on four pillars: increasing enrollment, improving an aging infrastructure, access and affordability and making us a "system" while achieving unparalleled success along the journey.

We are already making strides in many of these areas, and moving forward with Governor Malloy's "Go Back to Get Ahead" initiative that will improve college enrollments and completion rates. This initiative will target residents seeking to complete degrees, and will encourage them to return to one of our 17 state colleges and universities.

Soon, the Board of Regents will select a consulting firm to assist us with many of the more ambitious objectives in Transform CSCU 2020. The IT Audit and Deferred Maintenance Plan needs some assistance and direction as we form a plan for these two critical areas and request new bond funding for each. The consultant will also facilitate input from all stakeholders regarding the Academic Master Plan as well as analyzing our operational structure to achieve better efficiency. Presidents will be responsible for ensuring that everyone at their campuses has a role.

You may already know that we recently received a $500,000 Kresge Foundation Grant to create a statewide "Student Success Center" to help more of Connecticut's low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students complete college and earn degrees. We are currently searching for a director.

I am also very pleased to announce that Norwalk Community College (NCC) was among three colleges selected to participate in the first-ever community college-led Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Regional Collaboratives at DREAM 2014, the Achieving the Dream Annual Institute on Student Success. This effort will help NCC and the Board of Regents work to improve regional coordination among community colleges and their workforce partners; strengthen high demand, middle-skill STEM pathways; and foster cross-state learning and collaboration.

NCC will also be a key player in the state's first Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) to educate a new generation of STEM workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The six-year Norwalk Early College Academy is a collaborative effort between NCC, IBM, and the Norwalk Public Schools. Students will gain an early college experience by graduating with both a high school diploma and an Associate in Applied Science degree.

Finally, it appears we are also gaining support in the funding of Transform CSCU 2020 with the recent passage of Senate Bill 30. The bill will provide $83.5 million in new funding for improving smart classroom technology, academic and system-wide facilities master planning, IT upgrades, and the expansion of Asnuntuck Community College's Advanced Manufacturing Center.

But our work is just beginning. I am confident that with talented faculty and staff across the system, we will achieve the goals set in Transform CSCU 2020 and advance CSCU into a world class system of higher education. Together, we will build a new Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, and move our institutions from being good to being great.

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

Please visit the ConnSCU Newsroom for more information.

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