Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

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J.J.
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Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:37 pm

From Hartford Courant, an editorial by Dr. Judd and something I fully agree with!

I predicted this debacle years ago when Malloy made this mess. The only way to begin to fix this is to separate the Community Colleges and State Universities.
After seven years, five presidents and millions of squandered taxpayer dollars, the Board of Regents for Higher Education, which oversees Connecticut’s four state universities and 12 community colleges, has failed miserably, again.

Now it’s time for our General Assembly to call Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s mess what it is. Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian needs to tender his resignation and the board of regents must be dismantled. The university system made up of Central, Southern, Eastern, and Western state universities needs to be self-governed with its own board of trustees. The community college system should have the same, returning to its original form. Then and only then can we hope to address the looming difficulties facing our colleges and universities.
http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc ... story.html

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:56 pm

I knew University BOT should have been kept separate from the Community College System. I posted this back in 2012!
J.J. wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:39 am
I have always supported CSUS reforms because I think our current structure isn't working well. The problem is, any changes would be a huge political power struggle and honestly Central doesn't have the clout or power to fend of the other 3 schools (or UConn’s opposition). We are competing against each other for resources, while adding to inefficiencies in the system. I still support reform, but I do not think merging our oversight with the Community Colleges and Charter Oak under the Board of Regents was a good idea at all.

That's it - I'll get off my soapbox for now.

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by Shoreline » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:37 pm

An excellent Op-Ed by Dr. Judd and I am in total agreement. That "Student First" phrase set off warning bells when I heard it. It reminded me of those Orwellian "Customer First" lines you hear when a business merger is taking place. The result is usually the opposite.

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by Shoreline » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:44 am

From Linda Conner Lambeck’s column in today’s NH Register:
https://www.nhregister.com/local/articl ... 870612.php

And the column points out the great job by our faculty in taking a leadership role. Note the following comments:

“The Central Connecticut State Faculty Senate went further, saying it intends to vote Monday on a resolution calling for Ojakian’s resignation and for him not to be replaced until the November election for governor. It will also call upon the legislature to fully fund public higher education in the state.”

“Louise Blakeney Williams, a history professor at Central Connecticut State University, said the legislature is to blame for lessening state support. ‘The only way to solve the troubles of our colleges and universities is for political leaders to make a commitment to our young people and to the future of Connecticut by investing more in higher education, rather than cutting it,’ she said.”

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:14 pm

I recommend the closure of 4 Community Colleges (Asnuntuck, Capital, Northwestern and Quinebaug), leaving 8 Community Colleges to serve the State of Connecticut.

Gateway - serving greater New Haven area
Housatonic - serving greater Bridgeport area
Manchester - serving Eastern Hartford County, Tolland, and Windham
Middlesex - serving Middlesex County
Naugatuck Valley - serving greater Waterbury and Litchfield County
Norwalk - serving Southwestern Connecticut/Lower Fairfield County
Three Rivers - serving New London County
Tunxis - serving Western Hartford County and Central Connecticut region

IMO - Asnuntuck, Northwestern, and Quinebaug should be closed and existing students, faculty, programs, and equipment transferred among the remaining colleges. However, I propose to transfer the existing operations of both Capital Community College and Charter Oak State College as 'Academic School' under the leadership of Central Connecticut State University.

Central Connecticut State University
- Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
- School of Business
- School of Education & Professional Studies
- School of Engineering, Science, & Technology
- School of Graduate Studies
- Capital College (associate's and certificate programs)
- Charter Oak College (online and distance learning)

Both 'Capital' and 'Charter Oak' would be lead by a Dean and would report through CCSU's Provost and President. Academic operations for both colleges would not change immediately, as this initially would serve as a means to reduce the administrative costs of these independent institutions through consolidation.

Of course, CCSU would get to rebrand the Capital Community College building as as the CCSU Hartford Campus and over time other CCSU courses (such as graduate classes) could be offered at this location.

This is likely a much easier way for the Board of Regents to obtain accreditation approval for merging some administrative functions and would likely save millions of dollars for the State.

If this arrangement between CCSU/Capital Community College works well, then the same thing could be done for SCSU/Gateway in New Haven and even WCSU/Naugatuck Valley.

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:38 pm

For the record, I there are a few universities that have a "community college" or similar open-admissions school.

Utah Valley University, University College - https://www.uvu.edu/uc/
A ‘New Beast’

UVU has some advantages in pursuing its dual-role mission that other institutions do not. It’s a teaching university in one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, with strong support from Utah’s Legislature.

But experts said both community colleges and public universities could learn from UVU’s successful model. This is particularly true as some states, including Wisconsin and Georgia, have begun consolidating community colleges and four-year institutions.

Josh Wyner, founder and executive director of the College Excellence Program at the Aspen Institute, called UVU’s dual-role approach exciting, particularly because it doesn’t treat two-year students as an afterthought. And Wyner, who lately has been focused on transfer problems, said there can be benefits to offering both associate and bachelor’s degrees at one campus.

“The big problem with transfer is that students enter one institution seeking a degree that only another institution can offer,” he said.

It’s rare that faculty members, administrators and state lawmakers agree on the mission for a “new beast” like UVU, said Joe Garcia, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and a Democratic former lieutenant governor of Colorado. But he praised the model.

“This is the next step in the evolution,” he said. “The results speak for themselves. They’ve been able to do both.”

And given the demographic pressure of flat or declining numbers of high school graduates in many states, where lawmakers are focused on work-force demands and not on four-year degrees, Garcia said the combined mission is worth a look.

“We’re going to see more states looking at mergers,” he said
.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/201 ... university

Rutgers University, University College - https://ucc.rutgers.edu/about
Syracuse University, University College - https://parttime.syr.edu/

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by hilltopper » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:13 pm

Yes, there are too many CC's. They could easily close several and save a bundle of $ and still satisfy the educational needs of the state. Its called efficiency!
I like the idea of making one or more of the CC's and Charter Oak as schools at CCSU. Think of all the duplication of bureaucratic positions that could be eliminated saving the taxpayers.
Having a CC or University School program with a relaxed admissions requirement is a practical solution too. After all, SAT's and HS performance serve as an indicator of the applicants ability to succeed at the college level. After two years of successful classroom performance a student has shown that they can succeed in a Bachelor degree program regardless of what they scored on their SAT's.

And of course, Charter Oak should be administered by CCSU, it is just another case of failing to take advantage of economies of scale.

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by hilltopper » Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:23 pm

Just wondering, does Charter Oak St. College have on line cry closets?
https://nypost.com/2018/04/26/college-a ... -students/

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by ccsuhoops » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:27 pm

Saw this on Fox 61 this morning. Ojakian vowed not to quit and said the people criticizing him to quit were no longer relevant, his words. Reporter on Fox61 was clueless and called CSCU, CCSU more than once.

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:42 pm

CROMWELL — Connecticut State University and Colleges President Mark Ojakian said Monday that he won’t resign and he’ll continue to pursue plans to merge the 12 community colleges.

“I’ll make it very clear, despite calls for my resignation, I will not be resigning,” said Ojakian, speaking at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast meeting at the Red Lion Hotel.

Ojakian was referring to a several calls for his resignation after the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, an accrediting body, rejected his plans last week to merge the colleges.

“Now did we have a bump in the road? Absolutely! More like a boulder,” Ojakian said. “After going down the path we were told to go down, they not only moved the goal post, they changed the field. Now instead of a home game, it’s an away game.”

However, Ojakian said, he plans to continue to pursue efforts to work with NEASC and his staff to come up with an acceptable way to move forward with his “Students First” merger plan.

“We are looking at all our options,’’ Ojakian said, including a formal appeal.

“We are trying to re-group and figure out how we can continue to move “Students First” forward ... Do we have to vary it a little bit? Phase it in?” he said, “But I’m committed to getting this done in the next couple of years.”

Many faculty members have opposed the Students First plan as it developed over the past year and the Courant published an op-ed Sunday calling for his resignation from a state university faculty member, a former president of Central Connecticut State University and a former member of the one-time state university system board of trustees.

Ojakian said he also received a letter from the consumer advocate, Ralph Nader, asking him to resign.

But Ojakian said Monday he still thinks a merger would lead to the “best result” for the system and he’ll be meeting with a NEASC official this week to explore options.

Ojakian and his staff came up with the merger plan to save $28 million in an effort to make the financially-ailing colleges more sustainable. Without the merger, which was slated to begin in July, 2019, Ojakian has said, he will have to consider massive tuition hikes or closing a campus to balance the budget. Otherwise, he said, the colleges will be insolvent in two years.

NEASC rejected the plan saying that because of its “magnitude” and the “the proposed timeline” and “limited investment in supporting the changes, the commission is concerned that the potential for a disorderly environment for students is too high.”

If CSCU system wants to pursue the plan, NEASC said, it could resubmit it as a proposed “new institution,” rather than as simply a “substantive change” in an existing institution. On the guidance of NEASC, Ojakian and his staff had submitted the plan as “substantive change.”

To resubmit it as a new institution would take at least another 18 months to be considered a “candidate” for accreditation and could take as long as five years before that new institution would be accredited.

Ojakian has said the colleges would be insolvent long before that process would be completed.

However he said Monday that he will explore the option of submitting an application as a “new institution.”

“Nothing is off the table,” Ojakian said.

He noted that as it stands now under the best budget projection for next year, the colleges are headed for a $31 million deficit.

Ojakian said he’s been talking to the leaders of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee “to tell them if we don’t get some help, we’ll have some difficult choices in the short term.

“I don’t want to have to raise tuition to a level that students can no longer able to afford to go to school,” Ojakian said. “I don’t want to close campuses that will disadvantage students.”

Ojakian said last week that if he were to balance the budget only through a tuition increase, it would take doubling the community college tuition and increasing the state university tuition by half.

“As many of you in the room know, you have to pay your bills,” Ojakian said. “And so when your expenses are higher than the revenue that’s coming in, you have a couple of choices. You can retool the way you do business or you can choose to increase the price of your goods and serves and lose your customers.

“I want to keep customers and continue to provide the highest quality of education that we can possibly do.”
http://www.courant.com/education/hc-oja ... story.html

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by J.J. » Tue May 01, 2018 8:56 pm

The faculty senate at the largest school in the the Connecticut State College and University System has voted overwhelmingly for the system president to resign.

The faculty senate at Central Connecticut State University, the largest school in the 17 campus system of Community Colleges and Universities, voted overwhelmingly (38-1) in favor of a resolution calling for system President Mark Ojakian's resignation and the abolition of the Board of Regents that approved the merger of the Community Colleges last December only to have it rejected last month by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
http://www.wtnh.com/news/politics/cscu- ... 1153641356

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Re: Regents, Ojakian Fail, Time To Start Over

Post by Skyhawkct » Tue May 01, 2018 10:25 pm

So today, someone asked my about the turmoil at CCSU. She said "I heard they are calling for the presidents resignation...I thought she is new to the job".

Of course, I attribute this to ignorance AND an ignorant press that 4-3 correctly stated got CSCU and CCSU mixed up.

The whole system is a mess IMHO. It almost seems wayward, like a rudderless ship with no direction.

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