November 17th, 2014
Faculty members at Connecticut’s regional universities and community colleges are considering a coordinated revolt against a systemwide plan they say prioritizes centralization and online education over academic excellence.
Gregory W. Gray, president of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, has presented a vision of a university system that will “bolster enrollment, strengthen online learning capacity [and] work closely in collaboration with the business community to better align coursework with state defined industry growth sectors” in a plan known as Transform CSCU 2020. Yet as the plan progresses according to 36 separate road maps, faculty leaders say their sense of exclusion from the decision-making process is close to boiling over into civil disobedience.
“What we’re getting are opportunities to comment on some things that have already been created and have already been decided,” said Daniel W. Barrett, associate professor of psychology at Western Connecticut State University. “It’s as if Gray planted the garden, and we were asked to come in and pull some weeds and fertilize some plants. Guess who gets to reap the rewards? It’s Gray and the system -- not the faculty and not the students.”