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Statement of Board of Regents Chairman Lewis J. Robinson and President Robert A. Kennedy

Chairman of the Board of Regents, Lewis J. Robinson, and President Robert A. Kennedy today issued the statement below responding to recent media reports.
Chairman of the Board of Regents, Lewis J. Robinson, and President Robert A. Kennedy today issued the statement below responding to recent media reports.

“First, Executive Vice President Michael P. Meotti has chosen to forgo his raise in salary. We appreciate this action, and have agreed to it. The Board of Regents will be reviewing all other personnel salary adjustments that were made on the basis of additional duties, responsibilities, and roles assigned resulting from the consolidation.

“Secondly, it’s important to us to apologize for any miscommunication that has occurred between the Board of Regents central office and the community college presidents. In trying to provide any community college presidents who do not support our change agenda a way in which to depart amicably, it was instead mistaken for a buy-out or, worse, a push-out. That was never the intention, and for that, we apologize.

“Let us be clear, too, that the presidents who may not support the Board of Regents’ agenda should not have their commitment, motives and dedication questioned. Change is difficult and our agenda – meeting the needs of every student in Connecticut through the consolidation of governance structures, a reform of remedial education and the implementation of a new transfer and articulation policy to name a few – may not be for everyone. However, we continue to thank each of the 17 presidents for their work and effort on behalf of public higher education in the state, and, most importantly, our students.

The facts are these:

  • Presidents who choose to depart from the Board of Regents organization will do so under the existing personnel policies in the community college system.
  • It is not true that those presidents who choose to stay will automatically be terminated. Presidents who do not choose to depart will be subject to a performance review process which has traditionally taken place in June.
  • None of the community college presidential positions will be eliminated, merged or consolidated.
“Unfortunately, this issue has taken away from the real reform efforts the Board of Regents has already undertaken on behalf of our students.

“The Board of Regents has approved a seamless transfer and articulation plan which will allow our students to transfer between our institutions more easily. In addition, the BOR has identified $5.5 million in central office savings, and has redirected that funding to the campuses for at least 47 tenure track faculty and direct student support positions. We are in the midst of formulating a longer-term, strategic plan that will help focus our organization on training and preparing students for the rigors of a global economy, while supporting workforce development initiatives across our state.

“We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in 10 months, but clearly we have much further to go. We look forward to working with the presidents, the faculty, staff and students on our campuses to ensure that the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities are an accessible and affordable option for our state’s students.”

For more information, please contact:
Leigh Appleby