Despite calls for his resignation, the president of the Connecticut State College and University system said he's more determined to stay the course.
Facing big budget problems, CSCU President Mark Ojakian’s plan to revamp community colleges has been rejected.
There was a vote late Monday by education leaders at Southern Connecticut State University, calling for him to resign. However, they can't force him to.
Ojakian said he is not resigning and is ready to put forth another plan to revitalize Connecticut community colleges.
One of the options is raising tuition and that's something he doesn't want to.
"I am not resigning. I came here to fulfill my mission,” Ojakian said.
He told the Middlesex Chamber on Monday that he will continue to urge lawmakers for funding and will work with the Board of Regents to protect higher education.
“Mark has done a remarkable job. I think there are some tough choices to make as the university system has been defunded by the legislature on an ongoing basis,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy.
A regional accreditation commission denied Ojakian’s plan to consolidate 12 regional campuses into one main college, saying it was too big and too bold.
The commission favors a five-year study, taking the time that Ojakian says they don't have.
"There has to be a complete plan and I haven't seen that yet from the state of Connecticut,” said Democratic State Rep. and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz.
Gateway Community College has two new buildings in downtown New Haven.
Students like Micah Carter are able to work and take classes. Micah is also the first in his family to go to college.
"I wanted to come back to school mainly to generate more revenue. Change the trends my family followed by not going to college,” Carter said.
"We have to keep in mind we put people to work. The community colleges they have students right out of high school, some get added certificates so they can advance in their careers,” said Monica Moldonado, Gateway SGA president.
"I think accreditors have an obligation to look at bigger and bolder initiatives especially given the fiscal condition that all public high education is in,” Ojakian said.
There is a board meeting on coming Thursday, where President Ojakian plans to discuss with them what's next.
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