The merger of 12 Community Universities in Connecticut can move forward after the Commission of Regional Accreditation approved a plan for the Universities and Universities System of the State of Connecticut to merge community colleges and transform them into a university with a dozen campus .

According to Tuesday approved by the proposed plan despite the long-standing and vehement opposition of some faculty and staff, the two-year colleges in the State Public System of the State They will turn at the University of the Connecticut State Community before July 2023.

The leaders of the system celebrated the news, which they said had come for a long time. The officials proposed for the first time the consolidation to the New England Higher Education Commission in 2018, but the accreditor was not satisfied with the initial fusion plans at that time.

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    "All of us within this system is proud of a great pride in our 12 unique universities in all corners of the State, each of which is a cultural, educational and economic center", Terrence Cheng, president of the colleges and universities of the State of Connecticut, told employees and students in an email. "But the merger responds to the harsh realities facing community universities, a decrease in constant enrollment, retreating the metrics of student success and an unsustainable financial trajectory".

    Many faculty members and staff continue to be dislodged by the guarantees that fusion is the correct solution and presents the testimony on the merger at a preschool public hearing maintained by state lawmakers on Tuesday. Speakers told the members of the Higher Education and Employment Committee of the General Assembly of the State that favored the proposed legislation to demand state legislators who have supervise over and potentially stopping fusion.

    The approval of the accreditor strengthens administrators' argument that the merger must pass, but "meeting minimum accreditation minimums is far from designing a better system," said Seth Freeman, president of the Congress of the Community Universities of CT, the Union for staff members and faculty, and a teacher. of Computer Information Systems in Capital Community College at Hartford. "I still feel that this will damage the college students from the community throughout our state and that Connecticut State is not the answer to the real problems that are being facing in our system." googletag.cmd.push (function () googletag.display ( "pfd-ad-article_in_article"););

    Enrollment in community colleges has been decreasing for more than a decade, and that decline has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The count of the head of the students was 37,116 in the autumn of 2021, compared to 58,253 in the autumn of 2010. Two of the community colleges have negative reserves. Cheng said in for the most part, he believes that some universities should close due to financial strains, if not for merger.

    Freeman recognized the problems of the system, but believes that administrators are too focused on "finding efficiencies to the detriment of student experience."

    he said that fusion means decisions about the curriculum, hiring and other problems will be in the hands of "a massive, what we consider really swollen, state management," instead of local university leaders with contributions from His teachers and staff members, who work more closely with the students.

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