Board votes to close UConn's Torrington campus - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Board votes to close UConn's Torrington campus

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UConn's Board of Trustees discusses shuttering its Torrington campus on Wednesday. (WFSB photo) UConn's Board of Trustees discusses shuttering its Torrington campus on Wednesday. (WFSB photo)
UConn's Board of Trustees may vote to close its Torrington campus. (WFSB file photo) UConn's Board of Trustees may vote to close its Torrington campus. (WFSB file photo)
TORRINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

The University of Connecticut's Board of Trustees passed a motion to close the school's Torrington campus.

The board met to decide whether or not to close it in the wake of deep budget cuts by the state on Wednesday morning.

A number of speakers made final pleas to keep the campus open, including Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone and several students.

"I'm losing my campus community, but I do know some students that are dropping out because of this," Michaela Adams said. 

The board decided to close the Torrington campus because of financial struggles and low enrollment. There were only 88 full time students at the satellite campus.

With UConn facing more than $30 million in state funding reductions, closing the small campus was viewed by leaders as a way to save money.

"It's a great idea because not that many people come here," said Jordan Sokol, a student. "It's kind of a waste of money to keep this place open. They can go to another campus."

Some students felt that closing the satellite campus was a smart way to save money. Others, however, said it may put the university out of reach for students in the northwest corner of the state.

"The new commute for me isn't great and I may have to consider going elsewhere, maybe an online school," said Shawn Takatsu, a student.

Takatsu said he attends UConn Torrington, one of the school's satellite campuses.

"Rather than close the Torrington campus, the university needs to invest in the revitalization of it," UConn Torrington student Jack Sidoti, Jr. said. 

After a few questions and no prolonged discussion, the choice was made by the UConn Board of Trustees.

The motion to close Torrington's campus passed with just one opposing it. Board chairman Lawrence McHugh gave an explanation.

"We cannot justify operating the campus with so few students enrolled and a declining number of potential students in the pipeline, especially in the light of the states's financial struggles and the major affect it is having on UConn," McHugh said. 

With the passed vote, the Torrington campus's students have the option of transferring to other campuses in the UConn system for the fall or leave for different state colleges. Counselors and academic advisors will be on the Torrington campus to help students. Any payments made in advance of the closure will be reimbursed, the school said.

Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Sally Reis rejected the claims by some UConn Torrington supporters that the board made up its mind before Wednesday's meeting.

"I'd say we'd been looking at data for a long long time that our board I think has carefully considered it," Reis  said. 

The board's meeting began at 9:45 a.m.

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