BOR

The BOR is seeking feedback on its revised draft Code of Conduct through September 29. Please read the document here, and you can provide feedback in writing to CSCUFeedback@ct.edu.
We encourage you to read the document and be informed as the BOR intends the Code of Conduct to serve the following purposes:
  1. Provide the basic expectations for workplace behavior for all faculty, administrators, staff, volunteers, independent contractors and members of the Board of Regents for Higher Education;
  2. State the Board of Regents commitment to the highest standards of integrity in its institutions and its operations; and
  3. Remind faculty, administrators, and staff of the policies, regulations and laws with which they are required to comply.

September 19th, 2017

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During meetings on campuses and following, President Ojakian sought community college representation on six “design and implementation teams” in the following areas: Fiscal Affairs, Financial Aid Processing, Human Resources, Information Technology, Institutional Research, and Facilities.

Team meetings have begun and minutes are available at http://www.ct.edu/studentsfirst. 

In addition to the team meetings, the 4Cs, AFT, AFSCME and our counterparts that represent faculty and staff at the CSUs, CSU-AAUP and SUOAF-AFSCME, have arranged for several meetings of the union representatives on the committees to share information.

Reports from union members have ranged from skepticism to confidence about whether their input into the process will make an impact on the outcome, depending on the team.

September 7th, 2017

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The attached “Design Thinking” document was distributed at the Council of President’s meeting last week. It came from the Department of Academic Affairs and states that “the intent of this document is to contextualize our department’s ideas, which have been guided by the Design Thinking process both as a staff and within our individual teams.” While we don’t know if these ideas are being seriously considered, this document clearly applies a corporate mode of thinking to our institutions. For example, “#53. In collaboration with Academic Affairs staff at the Colleges, select, configure and implement a better process for course evaluations and other student surveys so that the Colleges can get the data they need to make better decisions.” Course evaluations are subject to collective bargaining and should be done to inform the faculty teaching the course. And “#56. Leverage technology to ensure that students can access the information and services they need without staff intervention. Once that is in place, optimize staffing at the Colleges to provide additional support for students who need assistance.” We encourage you to read through this document.
The next BOR meeting will be held on Thursday at 10am at the System Office (61 Woodland St, Hartford). As always, there will be 30 minutes for student, faculty, and staff comment at the beginning of the meeting. Union members from the 4Cs, AAUP, and SUOAF will be there to ask questions about this new document.  
Also, be on the lookout for an announcement this week from the CSCU/BOR with names of those appointed to the planning teams.
There continues to be much press on the reorganization:

May 10th, 2017

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The 4Cs has been collecting names to submit for the six “planning teams” for the restructuring. The teams will focus on Fiscal Affairs, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology, Institutional Research and Financial Aid Processing.
About 50 individuals volunteered to serve through the 4Cs. We are limited to 12 appointments for the 4Cs, AFT and AFSCME, but we will ask the System Office to include all interested parties on email communication about the time and location of meetings. We have been assured that these meetings will be public, so everyone can attend meetings.
The union leaders chose to appoint the following 12 individuals for the indicated teams:
  • Carmen Yiamouyiannis (4Cs Faculty from CCC) – Fiscal Affairs
  • Gayle O’Neil (AFSCME Staff from TRCC) – Fiscal Affairs
  • Sharon Pronovost (4Cs Staff from NWCC) – Facilities
  • Hannah Moeckel-Rieke (AFT Faculty from NCC) – Facilities
  • Sandra Vitale (4Cs Staff from TXCC) – Financial Aid Processing
  • Sandra Barnes (4Cs Faculty from HCC) – Financial Aid Processing
  • Eddie Miranda (4Cs Staff from MCC) – Human Resources
  • Angelo Glaviano (4Cs Faculty from MxCC) – Human Resources
  • Jeremy Espeseth (4Cs Staff from QVCC) – Information Technology
  • Philip Mayer (AFT Faculty from TRCC) – Information Technology
  • Mark Lynch (4Cs Staff from GCC) – Institutional Research
  • Jenny Wang (AFSCME Staff from CCC) – Institutional Research
There continues to be much press on the reorganization:

May 4th, 2017

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CSCU President Mark Ojakian is seeking community college representation on six “design and implementation teams” in the following areas: Fiscal Affairs, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology, Institutional Research and Financial Aid Processing.
The 4Cs is not endorsing the restructuring; however, we do think it is critical to have 4Cs members in the meetings when details are being discussed. Therefore, the 4Cs is collecting names of those who would be interested in volunteering to attend these “team” meetings.
 
Click here if you would like to submit your name.
In other restructuring news:
  • The CCSU Senate voted no confidence in President Ojakian (here).
  • CCSU held a rally the day of the Town Hall (here)

April 27th, 2017

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CSCU President Mark Ojakian is seeking community college representation on six “design and implementation teams” in the following areas: Fiscal Affairs, Facilities, Human Resources, Information Technology, Institutional Research and Financial Aid Processing.
The 4Cs is not endorsing the restructuring; however, we do think it is critical to have 4Cs members in the meetings when details are being discussed. Therefore, the 4Cs is collecting names of those who would be interested in volunteering to attend these “team” meetings. Click here if you would like to submit your name.
In other restructuring news:
  • The CCSU Senate will be voting on a resolution of no confidence (language here and news article here).
  • Presidents from five unions in the CSCU system met this week to discuss the restructuring and have planned another meeting.
  • President Ojakian appeared on WNPR this morning (listen here)
  • Video is available from the Town Halls at Manchester (here) and Asnuntuck (here).

April 20th, 2017

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As you likely know, the BOR approved President Ojakian’s proposed framework to restructure the community college system last Thursday (found here; video of BOR meeting here (after approximately 35 minutes of public comment).
The 4Cs has many concerns about this framework and we encourage all of our members to attend the Town Hall meetings on your campus. The 4Cs Delegate Assembly met over the weekend and brainstormed a list of questions to ask, which have been shared with all the 4Cs Chapter Officers and Delegates.
The Town Hall dates and times may be altered (several have already been revised more than once), but this is the most recent list we have:
  • Tuesday, April 11, at 11 a.m. – Tunxis
  • Thursday, April 13, 9 a.m. – Manchester
  • Monday, April 17, at 9:30 a.m. – Norwalk
  • Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. – Asnuntuck
  • Wednesday, April 19 at 9 a.m. – SCSU
  • Wednesday, April 19 at 1 p.m. – Gateway
  • Thursday, April 20 at 9 a.m. – WCSU
  • Monday, April 24, at 1 p.m. – Naugatuck Valley
  • Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. – CCSU
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 9 a.m. – Quinebaug Valley
  • Wednesday, April 26 at 1 p.m. – Three Rivers
  • Thursday April 27 at 1:15 p.m. – ECSU
  • Monday, May 1, at 9 a.m. – Charter Oak
  • Tuesday, May 2 at 9 a.m. – Northwestern
  • Thursday, May 4 at 1 p.m. – Housatonic
  • Friday, May 5 at 9 a.m. – Capital
  • Monday, May 8 at 9am – Middlesex

Tunxis videotaped the Town Hall meeting which is available here.

 

Tunxis Town Hall
Tunxis Town Hall

April 12th, 2017

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation

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On Monday, everyone that works in the CSCU System received a message from President Ojakian about his proposed reorganization plan. This proposed strategy to close anticipated budget shortfalls will be discussed at Thursday’s BOR meeting (10am, Betty Tipton Room, Student Center, ECSU).
While the letter and PowerPoint provided a framework for reorganization, the details have not been determined or finalized. The uncertainty of this proposal, has created a lot of fear among our members, especially those identified as “back office” functions by President Ojakian.
In his letter, the BOR President mentions that vital functions, such as HR, IT, and Institutional Research may be eliminated or moved to a centralized location. However, the uncertainty also indicates there may be time to influence the details; influence that will come through many conversations and collective action by all of our members.
There are a few additional factors that complicate matters. First,  the legislative session is still underway. While everyone is predicting a significant budget deficit in the state, the state doesn’t have its tax returns back and the Appropriations Committee has not drafted its final budget. Having the threat of significant budget deficits across all state government reduces opposition to the reorganization plan by the public and legislators.  Though as noted in the CT Mirror, President Ojakian structured his plan to only need approval by the Board of Regents, and not the General Assembly.
Also, there are many anti-collective bargaining bills this session, nearly 100 were heard on March 24. A bill that is especially concerning to all public higher education unions is SB 596, An Act Concerning the Definition of a Managerial Employee, which we believe, if passed, would remove many current members from being represented by a union. This is a significant concern as the union contract provides our members protection from arbitrary treatment, including the period of required notice.
Finally, the state is currently in discussion with SEBAC leaders to see if there is a means to come to an agreement on $700 million in savings as put forth by the Governor. SEBAC will play a pivotal role in any final agreement that is reached with the BOR. The consolidation effort brought forward affects not only the 4Cs, but all our coalition partners including AFT-CT, AFSCME, and CSU-AAUP. Job protection is likely to be part of any SEBAC agreement.
With all of these factors, our response strategy is complex and involves the input from our many partners.
But above all, we also need to hear from YOU, our members. We have set up a survey for you to submit comments here.
We have a Delegate Assembly meeting on Saturday, April 8 and in the meantime, we will keep our eyes open, listen intently, and learn as much as we can along the way.

April 5th, 2017

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Earlier this semester, the BOR released a draft “Code of Conduct” and opened a comment period for faculty and staff at the Community Colleges, Connecticut State University and Charter Oak State College.

The Faculty Advisory Committee discussed the draft and approved a response, found here.

Public comment is open through February 23rd to CSCUFeedback@ct.edu.

February 27th, 2017

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On Wednesday, the Appropriations Committee heard testimony on the Governor’s budget recommendations for CSCU and other higher education.
President Ojakian testified mid-afternoon (written testimony here). The most important statement he made was that if the Governor’s budget was accepted and SEBAC did not produce savings, the CSCU would be looking at a 14% budget cut and would have to consider “fiscal exigency,” basically declaring bankruptcy. To be clear, he was not recommending a path to fiscal exigency, but he was very clear that the system requires restructuring to become fiscally stable.
President Ojakian’s testimony and question and answers with the Appropriations Committee can be viewed here (his testimony begins at 2:29:45).
For more information on the impact of the higher education recommendations, please read the following articles:
This is only the beginning of budget discussions in Hartford. To influence these decisions, it is crucial that everyone get involved. Call your legislators. Visit their office hours in district to talk about higher educaion. And attend our Lobby Day on Friday, March 31!

February 17th, 2017

Posted In: BOR, Consolidation, Political Action, Students

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