CSCU president talks about ‘devastating effects’ of proposed state budget

CSCU calls for more funding amid budget battle
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 9:31 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2023 at 12:04 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The proposed state budget will have “devastating effects” on Connecticut’s state colleges and universities, according to the system’s leaders.

Terrence Cheng, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, participated in a news conference on Monday to talk about it.

The news conference happened 10 a.m. Monday at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford:

Terrence Cheng, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, participated in a news conference on Monday, April 24.

Cheng was joined by institutional leaders, legislators, students, faculty, and staff.

Both the governor’s budget and the one by the appropriations committee decrease funding not only for UConn, but all the other state colleges.

If these cuts go into effect, Cheng said they will have to lay people off and programs would be affected.

Spring enrollment is up, especially at Connecticut’s community colleges, for the first time in 12 years.

However, budgets by the governor and lawmakers call for less funding.

“The truth that this is investment will force students out of higher education all together,” said John Maduko, President of the Connecticut State Community College.

Educators and students requested $650 million, but both budgets fall short of what they say is needed.

State universities like Central and the 12 community colleges help students who may not be able to afford college.

Ana Sofia is one of them. She wants to be a teacher.

“I am the first generation in my family to go to college,” said Sofia, a CCSU freshman.

“How important is that to you?” Eyewitness News asked.

“It’s very important because I see if you don’t have a college degree you struggle a lot,” Sofia said.

“Many of our students come from Connecticut and they stay in Connecticut after graduating,” said CCSU President Zulma Toro.

Community colleges are also training the state’s future workforce. Manufacturing programs are filling jobs.

UConn is also fighting for increased funding, but the Office of Policy and Management is defending the governor’s budget, which includes a 55-percent increase in total state funding.

UConn’s president has already said they would have to raise tuition.

At Central and the community colleges, raising tuition could mean some students may not be able to afford a college education.