Connecticut's financial problems are about to lead to major cuts in higher education.
On Thursday, the Board of Regents voted to consolidate the state's 12 community colleges.
This will save millions of dollars but will cost 200 people their jobs.
The goal was not to cut any faculty but it will create a meaner and leaner administration.
There was plenty of concern and discussion on Thursday, but in the end, the Board of Regents voted overwhelmingly to consolidate the state's community colleges.
"Cuts in state support year after year after year. And we were not just singled out, every facet of government has been cut,” said Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities.
"This will saves millions of dollars and will make it easier for students to finish their education at one institution while using many campuses,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Consolidation will save $28 million with 200 layoffs in administration. Faculty will be spared along with any position that directly deals with students.
All 12 campuses will have one vice chairman, one CFO, one provost, three regional presidents and a vice president on each campus.
Without consolidation, tuition was expected to double, and the system would drain its reserves over five years.
Students at Manchester Community College aren't sure how this is all going to work.
"I think they should keep the individuality of the schools because it's like one big family, and to merge all of them, I don’t know,” said Ivory Arriaga, a sophomore.
"In regard to all the schools merging, it may not be a bad idea but I don't see it as a good idea either,” said Michelle Fernandes, a sophomore.
The next step is to get national accreditation. If that happens, the new community college system will be in place in July 2019.
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