Conn. colleges could face campus closures

Mark Ojakian, president of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, says proposed budget cuts to state colleges and universities could have draconian effects. (Photo: AP/file)

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) leader is warning that campuses may close if the system’s budget is cut to the degree suggested by the governor and state lawmakers.

CSCU President Mark Ojakian said that recently revised budget proposals from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican and Democratic lawmakers include cuts ranging from an additional $5.4 million to the state universities and $19 million to the community colleges to upward of $90 million to the overall system.

“To be clear, these are not the final numbers,” Ojakian said in a statement. “However, these proposals do give us an indication of what is to come for our system and our state. Our new best case scenario may be a cut of over $62 million for the system in the next biennium.”

Malloy and legislative leaders, who began budget talks Wednesday, updated their respective budget proposals to accommodate a larger-than-expected deficit for next fiscal year. It has grown from $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion.

Besides closing campuses, Ojakian says CSCU may have to eliminate certain student services and make significant workforce reductions.

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