Education Matters

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Will Board of Regents mess cost Kennedy his job?

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Board of Regents Chairman Lewis J. Robinson released the following statement Thursday regarding Robert Kennedy, president of the new Board of Regents for Higher Education, who reportedly handed out more than $250,000 in raises to top administrators on his staff without consulting his board:

 “The Board, and I, personally, have been greatly troubled with the actions that have been taken by and the lack of information shared with the Board of Regents by President Kennedy. As I said yesterday, the Board will be reviewing his judgment exercised in these matters, as well as his performance. Based on our findings, we will take the appropriate action.”

 The statement comes shortly after Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a statement of his own condemning the mess brewing at the agency he created:

HARTFORD — The governor, clearly angry over the revelation this week that administrators in the new Board of Regents office got hefty raises without board approval, and during a time when the colleges are raising tuition and cutting back, issued a statement Thursday, calling for the board to fix its damaged credibility.

The statement reads: “The developments of the past week at the Board of Regents’ central office have unfortunately overshadowed the accomplishments that have been achieved over the past year as the result of the reforms that were implemented.

“In that time, the central office was able to identify $5.5 million in savings through office consolidation; thanks in large part to those savings, 47 new faculty and student support positions have been approved. At a time when similar college systems in other states are cutting back on faculty, this is no small accomplishment.

“The community college system has launched three new manufacturing centers across the state. We are trying hard to compete for the good-paying jobs the precision manufacturing industry can produce, and these centers will go a long way toward giving our students the tools they’ll need to win those competitions.

“In addition, the Board approved a seamless transfer and articulation proposal that will allow students throughout the system to transfer schools much more easily. That proposal languished for close to 30 years. Now it’s happening.

“It’s achievements like those, and others as well, that have gotten lost in the mix in the past week, which I quite frankly think is a shame.

“All of that said, serious problems have been identified in recent days, and they need to be fixed.

“I believe the Board of Regents needs to step in, conduct a review of these matters, and take appropriate steps based on their findings.

“The credibility of the central office has been damaged, and it needs to be restored as quickly as possible.”

Shortly after, Board of Regents Chairman Lewis J. Robinson released a statement of his own regarding President Kennedy.

 “The Board, and I, personally, have been greatly troubled with the actions that have been taken by and the lack of information shared with the Board of Regents by President Kennedy. As I said yesterday, the Board will be reviewing his judgment exercised in these matters, as well as his performance. Based on our findings, we will take the appropriate action.”

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Categories: General
Linda Lambeck

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