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November 2013
Board of Regents President Gregory W. Gray Colleagues,

The semester is moving very quickly and we are ratcheting up efforts to bring our plan for a world-class system of higher education from concept to reality. The plan will usher in a new era of responsibility, accountability, and investment for all of ConnSCU's 17 institutions of higher learning. It will highlight our unique missions among colleges and universities—access, affordability, and workforce training are all hallmarks of our schools and offer a great foundation on which we can expand.

It is critical that we engage a variety of stakeholders early on in this process. After having visited 15 of our 17 campuses, it is clear that our faculty, staff, and students have valuable ideas around what it means to be world-class, how we define world-class, and the goals we must reach to get there. These thoughts will continue to inform our work and I urge all of our presidents to actively engage their campuses in this discussion and provide comments and feedback.

The state has identified five growing career clusters that require a skilled workforce. Advanced manufacturing/engineering, allied health, financial services, hospitality, and IT are expected to have a strong jobs pipeline of which our students can take advantage—providing we have the resources and the vision to prepare them to succeed in these sectors. Excel CT will be that roadmap. It will frame how we can better focus our efforts—creating hubs of expertise at our universities and robust feeder programs from our community colleges directly to our universities or the workforce. It will highlight the importance of corporate partnership and help us find ways to expand those relationships to the benefit of our students—creating more apprenticeships and internships and more direction to workforce training.

Most importantly, Excel CT will put us on the path to excellence. It will focus on our mission of access, offer goals, benchmarks, specifics about programs, infrastructure improvements, and ways to streamline important administrative components of higher education, but beyond that, it will be our narrative to the Governor, the General Assembly, the business community, and our own communities.

We are Connecticut's system of higher education—96 percent of the students in our system are Connecticut residents, 35 percent of all Connecticut high school graduates attend a system school, and 80 percent of our students go on to live and work in Connecticut. Working together we can ensure a stronger future for our students, our schools, and our state.

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

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©2013 Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education