UConn's president calls budget cuts "disheartening and sad" - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn's president calls budget cuts "disheartening and sad"

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UConn resident Susan Herbst appears on Face the State. (WFSB file) UConn resident Susan Herbst appears on Face the State. (WFSB file)
#SaveUConn was posted at the end of the video. (UConn) #SaveUConn was posted at the end of the video. (UConn)

The University of Connecticut's president has made it clear that the Republican state budget would be devastating to the school.

Now that state lawmakers have approved it, president Susan Herbst addressed its potential ramifications on Tuesday, calling cuts "disheartening and sad."

Herbst was joined by Scott Jordan, UConn's chief financial officer and executive vice president for administration.

Herbst recently sent an email to students, faculty, and alumni warning that the school would be looking at a $300 million cut over the next two years.

Herbst said the cuts in the Republican budget could lead to the closure of regional campuses, the elimination of majors and graduate programs, larger class sizes and a loss of athletic programs.

Financial aid could also be cut, according to Herbst.

On Tuesday morning, the university tweeted a 40-second video asking lawmakers to "#SaveUConn." The video was voiced by University of Connecticut Huskies women's basketball Geno Auriemma. 

In the video, Auriemma voices his concerns about his program. 

"I walk on campus now, I walk there every day," Auriemma said. "And I listen and I say man, I hope our basketball program can continue to be as good as our university has become." 

In the video, Auriemma went on to defend the UConn students. 

"We don't have to apologize for wanting to be great," Auriemma said. "Because we are on the edge of something unbelievable and these kids right here, they came to this school on that same dream, that same hope, and that same vision."  

The Democratic budget calls for $100 million in cuts, and Herbst said while that is painful, it's doable.

"We hire great people here, to teach our students, to teach our medical students, to teach our undergraduates, and many times they will cost more than $100,000 a year," she said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy already announced that he will veto the budget, despite the state going 81 days without one.

He said the GOP budget was unbalanced and raised legal issues when it came to labor savings.

He also said there's still time for both Republicans and Democrats to come together for a bipartisan solution.

However, if no agreement is reached by Oct. 1, Malloy will be forced to enact another executive order that will include deep cuts.

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