So much for Regents passing the savings on to colleges.

Remember that $5.5 million the Board of Regents for Higher Education said it saved by consolidating the state’s 12 community colleges, four state universities and Charter Oak on line program into one agency? The $5.5 million that was going to add 47 new positions across the campuses? Forget about it.

Yesterday, Education Matters reprinted a letter sent by Southern Connecticut State University President Mary A Papazian announcing a hiring freeze was being impacted immediately to sop up $2.2 million in cuts to her 2012-13 budget. It was Southern’s share of a $170 million in budget cuts to help with a projected state budget deficit twice that size. In all, the Regents have been asked to shoulder $14.4 million worth of the burden.

Today came word that William Bowes, chief financial officer for the Regents announced that the freeze was being instituted pretty much across the board.  Say goodbye for now to the new positions that were to focus on science, technology, math as well as retention specialists, transfer counselors and student advisors. Of the 47 positions, 28 were going to the community colleges and 19 to the state universities. New hires already process will apparently be honored but for positions where no offers have been made the searches have been suspended.

Linda Lambeck