A Dire Warning From Herbst

Fuss & O’Neill testified on UCONN’s behalf to the CT General Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.  We were there to stress the importance of the need for a strong science, technology, engineering and math trained workforce, importance of these professions to our state, and the criticality of sustaining vitality at UCONN and our state.


By Kathleen Megan | Hartford Courant

HARTFORD — The leaders of the state’s public universities and colleges painted a grim picture Wednesday of how budget cuts proposed by the governor would affect the quality of the education for students.

UConn President Susan Herbst told members of the legislature’s appropriations committee that the $19.5 million cut for the university would mean that students have “larger classes and fewer of them. It would mean sections filling up so students get locked out of courses they need. It means students possibly not graduating on time, increasing the cost of their education and their debt.”

It is not just this 8 percent cut that “will make or break the university,” Herbst said, but the accumulated years of rescissions and fund sweeps that, she said, amount to $139 million over the past seven years.

The total proposed cut for UConn is $31.2 million, when the $11.5 million cut slated for UConn Health is included.

“My fear is that the cycle will get worse and worse, resulting in a shrinking faculty, the closure of academic programs or departments, entire schools, campuses,” Herbst said. “It very likely means we’re going to have to close regional campuses, significantly reducing financial aid, cutting big sports, sports that you love, among other possibilities.”

Herbst said that the board of trustees may have to reconsider the recently approved plan for tuition increases that total 31 percent over the next four years.

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Copyright © 2016, Hartford Courant

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