Category Archives: Breaking News

Dr. Toro To Postpone All Inaugural Events To Aid Family In Puerto Rico

by Angela Fortuna

Central Connecticut State University’s President Dr. Zulma Toro, just announced that she will be postponing all inaugural events to aid ailing family members in Puerto Rico, after Category 4 Hurricane Maria destroyed many areas of the island.

In an email sent to all actively enrolled students on Friday night, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Mark Warren McLaughlin, informed that Toro’s decision to help her family and friends in Puerto Rico compelled Central to cancel all activities related to her inauguration.

“Out of respect for President Toro, and in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, the university is also cancelling the events of Inauguration Week intended to be a celebration of the university’s engagement with its communities,” McLaughlin informed in the email. “President Toro has decided she must put all her immediate time and energies into relief efforts for her family members who are still in Puerto Rico, some of them with health issues, in the hopes of bringing them back to the States.”

According to CNN, Puerto Rico is not receiving nearly as much aid as they need at this point in time. The devastation in Puerto Rico has been described as “apocolyptic” according to officials and residents.

Toro arrived in Miami late yesterday afternoon to meet her mother, who had just arrived from Puerto Rico, according to the email.

“Puerto Rico is facing formidable and dire conditions throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Maria,” Student Government Association President Brendan Kruh said. “Dr. Toro, who has family and friends in Puerto Rico, holds a level of fortitude and commitment to her community which we as Blue Devils should aspire to achieve.”

“The situation in Puerto Rico is so dire,” Toro said. “The need for help – my help and the help of others – is so great that I cannot turn my back on my family and friends and others I may be able to help.”

“I admire President Toro and her decision. While I am sure most will be bummed that the festivities are going to postponed, she is putting her family and friends before her own celebration,” SGA Senator Gabriella Bierwirth said.

“Dr. Toro made a decision to help aid family members who are in need,” SGA Vice President Marissa Cusano said. “I stand with Dr. Toro and her decision, family is extremely important. I hope Dr. Toro is able to help her family.”

CCSU tweeted about their decision to postpone all inaugural events and received positive feedback.

One Central student responded to the tweet saying “Go save lives, Madam President. You are doing more than 45 is. Godspeed.”

Another Twitter user replied to the tweet saying “Wishing her and her family well.”

“The decision to postpone the inauguration is a testament to Dr. Toro’s constant desire to put others before herself,” Kruh said. “Her courage and immediate action are something I admire. We must consider how we as students can contribute in relief efforts to Puerto Rico at this time.”

“Her inauguration is an extremely important day for her, but she is willing to put all that aside in order to give help and support to those who need it,” Bierwirth said. “The destruction that is impacting Puerto Rico is terrible, and I am proud and honored to have a President who is ready to take action and who values her family.”

“Dr. Toro said that she deeply regrets the inconvenience and disappointment her decision may cause, but that she hopes people will understand that this is a decision she was compelled to make by the conditions in her native Puerto Rico,” according to McLaughlin’s email.

The date of Toro’s inauguration and events leading up to it are yet to be determined.

Too Little Too Late: How a CCSU Student’s Death Could Have Been Prevented

Caution tape on the ladder near alley where Lavoie’s body was found. Photo Credit: Analisa Novak
Angry Bull will remain closed until March 24. Photo Credit: Analisa Novak
Chief Foley said the streets are full of litter and vomit following Thursday nights. Photo Credit: Analisa Novak

by, Analisa Novak

With midterms fast approaching, most Central Connecticut State University students can be found relieving stress by enjoying nights in downtown Hartford.

Taylor Lavoie, 18, East Granby, was one of those CCSU students as she and her friends packed into the crowded CTfastrak Bus on its way to Hartford this past Thursday night.

Drink specials like the “25 Cents Beer Night” weekly entice hundreds of local college students to the Angry Bull Saloon, where Lavoie and her three friends ended up.

As the evening wore on and the bars began to close, Lavoie and her friends became separated and her friends caught the last ride on the Fastrak out of downtown.

Lavoie did not; as her body was discovered later that evening in a five-foot alleyway between the Angry Bull Saloon and another building. Hartford Police and medical quickly responded to the scene and pronounced her dead.

The cause of death is still under investigation but is being ruled as an accidental fall, according to Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley. “At this time we have no indication that it was a homicide or a suicide, we believe it’s likely to be accidental.”

Investigators are still piecing together how Lavoie got on top of the Angry Bull roof, which is supposed to be closed and off limits to patrons. Lavoie is said to have fallen more than four stories.

According to Angry Bull, to get on the roof “a person must go up a stairwell from the second floor area through a fully blocking curtain, which indicates a blocked/off limits area. The roof access requires someone to go up two floors of abandoned space, continue to a ladder structure, climb it to a hatchway, then enter the roof through a small doorway area.”

Foley said that roof has no ledges and is extremely dangerous. “I went up on the roof, its treacherous, it’s disorientating, especially at night,” said Foley.

The mystery and questioning doesn’t stop there; investigators are working on answering how Lavoie was even allowed in the bar in the first place because, she was only 18 years old, far from the legal drinking age of 21.

Lavoie had an Angry Bull wristband on and a fake ID when her body was found, said investigators.

But CCSU student Sabrea Collins said that Lavoie getting into Angry Bull is no mystery at all. Collins, who is under the age of 21, has also been to Angry Bull Saloon plenty of times and said sometimes patrons don’t even need a fake ID, just an additional 10 dollars.

“If you have a fake ID you just give it to them and if you don’t just give them money,” Collins said.

CCSU Student Abe Caban also said that Angry Bull’s lack of proper identification is what makes it a popular for college students.

“If you paid twenty dollars and you’re sixteen, you can get in for free with a Fake ID. You can see the environment and see that kids are underage there.”

Angry Bull was under a watchful eye from the Hartford Police dating back to November of last year. Foley said that Hartford Police had made multiple complaints to the Liquor Control Commission, the most recent complaint on Feb. 24.

Foley said that The Department of Consumer Protection, who oversees all liquor controls alongside with the Hartford Police, was planning an undercover raid for next week. Staffing and availability from both departments played an important key on why the raid was delayed.

“When they did want to do an operation next week we couldn’t do it because it’s all hands on deck for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and for the basketball tournament and cheerleader competition, so it’s going to be a busy weekend. We were in communication with them this week, they had our documentation, we wished it moved faster in a perfect world but that’s not where we are,” Foley said.

CCSU Senior Mark Mancini said that with a raid or not, it was well known to everyone that alcohol was being served to underage students and something should have been done to prevent this tragedy.

“It’s just a shame that students who are out there looking for a good time, something unfortunate would happen. The amount of underage students that let in is unreal there,” said Mancini.

CCSU Student Government Association President Jahmil Effend said that this could have been easily preventable and it’s unfortunate that CCSU and the family had to lose someone in order for action to be taken.

“The Angry Bull Saloon has had a notorious reputation of allowing underage students to get in. The police in the area have dealt with countless complaints, but nothing has been done. This tragedy could have been avoided had the bar staff and management acted appropriately,” Effend said.

Angry Bull remained quiet most of Friday morning. It released a statement later that night on their Facebook page denying allegations that it serves patrons who are under age.

“We consistently have several members of our security staff outside the entry door of the establishment to ensure all patrons are checked for proper identification stating they are 21 or above.”

In that statement, Angry Bull said it is devastated by the death of Lavoie and that there thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Lavoie, who was a biology major, lived in the Mid Campus Dorms. CCSU President Dr. Zulma Toro released a statement in which she extended her condolences to those who knew Lavoie.

“Beyond the grief that we feel, tragedies such as this remind us how important it is for us as a community to cherish and support each other,” Dr. Toro said.

Counseling services are currently being offered by the Wellness Center for any students who wish to seek it. John Campbell, of the Campus Ministry is also available to speak to students. There is no word at the moment of a planned memorial for Lavoie.

The doors of Angry Bull remained shut Friday evening and will remain closed for the next couple of weeks. Angry Bull voluntarily suspended their liquor permit on Friday.

“The Angry Bull Saloon voluntarily met with and agreed to suspend its liquor permit out of respect for the family of the deceased in this difficult time.”

According to Foley it will remain suspended until March 24.

Angry Bull will be using its suspension time to “review procedures and the incident with the Hartford Police Department and Department of Consumer Protection.”

Foley has not indicated if this is a permanent suspension.

The bar permittee is listed as Stephen White. He is said to be cooperating with investigators.

The investigation is ongoing and anybody who has information on this is urged to call the Hartford Police.

If Angry Bull reopens its doors, some CCSU students, like Caban, will not be returning. “I just went there for the first time and I’ll probably never go back to be honest.”


Confusion Amidst Latest Sexual Assault

by Analisa Novak/ Jackson Rioux

Central Connecticut State University is backtracking on an alleged sexual assault that happened near campus.

Last Thursday, CCSU students and faculty were notified of a sexual assault that occurred on campus via a string of emails. The university sent out three separate emails, each email contradicted the previous one before it.

“It was a little confusing because I’m still not sure what even happened,” said student Fabian Fonseca. “I don’t even know if they know what happened.”

The confusion originally started after a sexual assault was reported to CCSU police. The alleged assault was said to have occurred on the early morning of Oct. 8th.

The victim originally said it happened in the Willard and Diloreto parking lot. University police, then, complied with the Cleary Act and sent out an email informing the campus of the attack, causing a media frenzy and panic within the CCSU community.

“It was overwhelming to receive all those emails, but it was a story that was not fully uncovered yet,” said student Lindsay Grant. “Hopefully police figure out what happened.”

The incident continued to bring more confusion as the night progressed. CCSU Associate Vice President Marketing & Communications Mark McLaughlin sent out two update emails stating not only did the incident not happen on campus, but also the victim was not a CCSU student.

“Since this went out earlier, I’ve learned that the person reporting the assault is not a CCSU student,” McLaughlin wrote.

The second one stated, “Thru further investigation CCSU Police have now determined that the reported sexual assault did not occur on CCSU’s campus.”

Since the string of emails last Thursday, the school has officially sent no further updates. No description of the alleged attacker was ever released.

McLaughlin did provide an update to The Recorder on Oct. 14th.

“After CCSU Police determined that the reported incident did not take place at CCSU, they closed their investigation and advised the person who reported it to contact the New Britain Police Department,” he said.

But with two sexual assaults allegedly happening within three weeks of each other, many students on campus are questioning if they are truly safe on campus.

“I don’t feel safe, especially because I have a lot of night classes,” said student Chelsea Scribner. “I’m definitely going to get some pepper spray.”

CCSU Police declined to comment further on what they are doing to ensure campus safety. In the generic email that was originally sent campus wide, CCSU police said they “Will provide additional patrol coverage to this area, but people are advised to use caution nonetheless.”

According to the 2013-2015 Cleary Report emailed out earlier this month, forcible sex offenses have increased within the last year at CCSU. In 2014 one forcible sex act was reported and documented. By 2015 that number tripled to four.

CCSU took some heat earlier this semester when students and faculty were not immediately notified of a sexual assault on campus. The assault, which occurred in James Hall, was determined to be an isolated incident by CCSU Police. The department deemed there was no threat to the rest of campus.

Cracks in the System: How a Sex Offender Was Able to Go Undetected



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by: Analisa Novak

Cracks in the system Central Connecticut State University uses to monitor sex offenders allows registered sex offenders to attend school undetected. The flaws came to light this past summer after it was revealed that a student on the registry had attended for a year without state police or university knowledge.

CCSU is the only Connecticut State University that does not list the names of sex offenders on the campus website.

Federal law only requires the school to make the information accessible for those on campus.

CCSU does this by providing a link to the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry, the minimum to comply with the Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act.

“It’s a judgment call,” said Mark McLaughlin, Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communications.

That’s the same federal law that Southern, Eastern and Western Connecticut state universities also have to follow.

The three schools, like CCSU, also provide that generic link but they go further and provide the names of the student sex offender and registry numbers on their website.

“We do this because the CT sex offender list is always changing, there are some offenders that still list SCSUs address on the official registry, that don’t go here. By making sure our campus list is accurate and up to date, we can better provide the information,” SCSU Campus Detective Cynthia Torres said.

The state also provides the CSUs with a list of sexual offenders on the database so they can cross-reference applicants and existing students as well.

This secondary check, if done, could also catch any offenders who are failing to disclose. This is done at the request of the university.

“They check our list (statewide registry list) against their list (campus list), to see if there is anyone going to school who is on the registry. If they notice that there is someone on there, who they have questions about, and contact us and ask if a particular student is listed being at the university on the registry and we say no, now we know there’s a violation and that’s a felony,” CT State Police Sergeant Matthew Garcia said.

The CT state registry list states that seven offenders use CCSU as their school address.

According to the most up-to-date list, which only the CCSU police have, only four offenders currently attend CCSU.

CCSU Police has listed a student who is a registered offender by the wrong name. His first and last name were mixed up on their hardcopy list and if students were to search for him on the state registry, using the name provided by the CCSU police, the name wouldn’t appear

“I think it’s important for the safety of our campus that the sex offender list is easily accessible by students and the more transparency on issues around sexual violence, the better,” said Sarah Dodd, CCSU Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention Specialist.

According to Gregory Sneed, CCSU Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety, there is an interview process that registered sex offenders go through before they become a student on campus.

“Sex offenders are required to register where they reside and where they are going to school. So by virtue of that, they notify the state, the state then notifies us. We then call them in and to just have a conversation with them.”

Prospective students choose to do the Common Application or the CCSU College Net application.

Both these applications ask prospective students to disclose any misdemeanors or felonies.

Applicants cannot go forward with the online application without selecting either yes or no.

If yes is selected, admissions forward the information to campus police, who will then speak to the applicant if needed.

Campus police are not responsible for selecting who gets admitted into CCSU even if they are sex offenders.


Sex Offenders are required by federal law to select yes and to not only inform the university, but also the state police.

“Failure to notify would then constitute a class D felony which is punishable up to five years (CGS § 54-256),” according to Sergeant Garcia.

The campus police cannot issue this particular felony violation, only the state police can.

Nathan George Cheatham, 28, failed to inform the university or the state police of his enrollment at CCSU.

By doing so he went undetected among students and faculty for an entire school year.

Cheatham was required to register to the police under CT 54-253, which deals with individuals who have been convicted out of state and are now living in Connecticut.

Cheatham was 18 when he was arrested in Michigan in 2005 for a sexual act with a 14-year-old girl.

 “It should be noted that it is believed that she was actually 13 years of age when this (act) had transpired,” according to police reports obtained by The Recorder through a Freedom of Information request with the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office.

Another incident with an additional 14-year-old girl was also investigated.

Cheatham later admitted to the two separate sexual encounters with the minors, according to the police transcripts.

Cheatham was charged with Gross Indecency Between Male And Female (Michigan statue 750.338b). He has been listed a sex offender since 2006.

Out- of- state sexual offenders are required to notify police whenever they want to attend any Connecticut State University or college.

“If they’re moving into Connecticut they have to let us know where they are going to school. If they committed a sexual assault in (i.e.) MA and now they are coming here and going to CCSU, they have to notify us without undo or delay, “said Sergeant Garcia .

Cheatham’s sex offender status was not known to the university or police until after the CCSU Society of Professional Journalists received an anonymous tip.

CCSU SPJ is a chapter of the national SPJ professional organization for students and working journalists and protects journalism by fighting for ethics, training and their First Amendment.

Cheatham was to be the president for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The group was preparing for a trip to the national SPJ convention in New Orleans when members got the tip.

When originally questioned by the E-Board of SPJ, Cheatham was defiant and refused to speak on the issue.

Later he met with the vice president of the group. In an interview last week, she said, Cheatham told her that he is on the registry for “fooling around” with a then- sixteen-year-old girlfriend.

Cheatham also told her that it was optional for him to inform on his status.

Upon further investigation by the group, it was discovered that both of these statements were false. Cheatham was then asked to resign as president.

“As a student leader he should be compliant with the school. If he’s not following the rules of the school he shouldn’t be in the office”, said CCSU SPJ Vice President Lisa Massicotte.

After Cheatham’s offender status was discovered, the CCSU campus police were notified and the CT state police temporarily listed him as a non-compliant sex offender on the registry. Cheatham was also a Student Government Association Senator. He was elected earlier this year and was set to be involved in the finance committee. He had participated on a retreat with SGA members during the time where it was not known of his offender status.

Student Activities was made aware of Cheatham’s failing to notify the police and the university of his sex offender status around the time the information came to light.

But even as they were aware of this information, administrators in student activities continued to allow Cheatham to be an SGA Senator.

Although what Cheatham did is considered a felony in Connecticut, CCSU did not see it necessary to remove him from SGA.

According to the CCSU student handbook, any full-time student “in good academic standing and not under disciplinary sanction may participate in clubs and other co-curricular activities.”

When Director of Student Activities Scott Hazan was asked for comment, he forwarded all interview questions to Mark McLaughlin.

When McLaughlin was asked why CCSU allowed Cheatham to continue to be on SGA even after officials knew he was a non-compliant sex offender, McLaughlin said that federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents him from responding directly to any question. He did say, “When we (CCSU) become aware of students or employees on the sexual offense registry our normal procedure is to conduct a thorough review.”

Cheatham was never suspended or expelled.  He was never put on any sort of a probation period by the university. Due to FERPA no information of a conduct review was given. It is not known if the school will ever seek any disciplinary actions.

At no time was any student member of student government informed by the university of Chatham’s non-compliance status.

When asked for comment, SGA president Jahmil Effend said, “We have to trust the university as we do with everything else.”

Cheatham never responded to multiple requests for an interview. As of now he is not registered in any classes for the fall semester.

Had Cheatham notified the CT state police of his status, the New Britain police would then have been notified.

“This whole thing comes down to the offender even notifying the state in the first place. You get on the registry because you’ve been convicted of a sex offense, you did time and you are being released into the community, you have to register. You do not have a choice. You are in the system. It is their responsibility to physically register with us and keep us informed,” Sgt. Garcia said.

The majority of sex offenders are compliant with the registry and the terms that come with their release, according to Sergeant Garcia.

“If they are going to be attending a university it is incumbent on them to tell us; if they don’t then now they are facing felonies,” Sergeant Garcia said.

If any students know of any offenders who are choosing to not disclose and meet the requirements of their sentence, police advise them to search the offender on the database, select submit a tip (located at the bottom of the offenders photo), and let the CT police know.

Informants remain anonymous

The Office of Victim Advocacy and Violence Prevention provides services to assist and support individuals affiliated with Central Connecticut State University who have been impacted by sexual assault, relationship violence, and/or stalking. Students who need these services should contact Sarah Dodd at the office of Victim Advocacy and Violence, located in Carroll Hall, Room 248.

Editor’s Note: The Recorder strives to provide the university with the most accurate information possible. It is for this reason that no individual whether faculty or student found guilty of any offense against the state, university or any student, will be shielded or protected through anonymity. There were no aliases used in this story. The only names that will ever be protected in The Recorder are those of anonymous sources and victims of any crimes.

Reflecting on President’s Influence on Central, Announces Retirement

by Jacqueline Stoughton

Following a long and successful career in education, Central Connecticut President Jack Miller announced his retirement to begin in September, after 12 years of involvement with this campus and its community.

Originating from Chicago, Miller initially had different intentions for his career path. Starting as a freshman at University of Tulsa, unsure of the academic direction he’d go in over the next four years. At the end of his freshman year, Miller transferred to Ohio University on a football scholarship where he studied journalism. Following his undergraduate graduation with plans to write for an Idaho newspaper, a complicated turn of events brought Miller back home to Chicago where he would be an assistant high school football coach while teaching third grade at Paderewski Elementary.

Miller continued taking classes in order to keep his “emergency teaching certificate,” eventually attending graduate school to obtain his masters degree from Purdue University. Throughout his teaching experiences, Miller developed a passion for literacy education. He became a professor at Wichita University in Kansas where he taught future teachers how to teach children to read.

Miller arrived at CCSU as president in 2005, after making the switch from professor to administrator in higher education. While each day, Miller says, has its good and bad moments, the memories that stick with him the most are having to share in the sadness and grief of watching young students pass away, whether due to natural causes or accidents – it’s a reoccurring tragedy each year.

“Watching the sadness when a young person losses their life, that’s what makes the biggest impact on me,” said Miller. “There’s plenty of great times and fun times, but if you want to say what’s the single thing that just hits you right in the face, it’s every year losing a few students. Seeing their parents losing children that are 20-years-old, it’s sad.”

Miller explained seeing students create memorials, helping out others in the neighborhood and participating in plays and sports games have been some of his most memorable moments during his time as president. “Every week there’s something good.”

During the first year of his presidency, Miller created a list of 40 goals he wanted to accomplish throughout his time at CCSU. Although he was successful in the majority of those goals, one he wishes he had more time for was his efforts in increasing the amount of students who partake in study abroad courses up to at least 1,000 students traveling each year. According to Miller, “We’re about half way there.”

Overall, Miller says he has no regrets regarding unpopular decisions he may have made during his presidency.

“When you try to make the right decisions for the right reasons it doesn’t always work out, but you don’t necessarily regret it because you did it based on what you knew when you did it. I can’t really say there’s something where I have terrible regrets,” said Miller.

Miller has many notable accomplishments over the past 12 years, all which played a part in bringing the university up to the high status that it currently stands at. Such as adding more academic space, which is still a goal in process with the renovations of Willard and DiLoreto, the completion of a new dining hall, the renovation of the bubble and addition of a new stem building – all happening within the next few years.

However, Miller’s biggest accomplishment is the drastic increase in graduation rates. Bringing the 40 percent graduation rate in 2005, which is in the lowest quartile, up to 57 percent by 2015.

“My goal was 52 percent. Over ten years, over 1,100 students have graduated who otherwise wouldn’t have,” said Miller. “Those are people who have a college degree who wouldn’t otherwise have a college degree.”

Provost Carl Lovitt explains he believes Millers success as a leader to be attributed to his establishment of clear goals, setting budget priorities and maintaining high standards.

“President Miller is perhaps the most intelligent man I’ve ever worked with. No matter what I proposed to do, he could always think of objectives I hadn’t considered – not necessarily because he didn’t agree with me but because he wanted me to be able to defend my position. But once the discussion was over, he trusted me to make my own decisions,” said Lovitt. “He earned the respect of his colleagues for being a leader of the university and not a micromanager. He also knows more about sports than anyone I’ve ever met, and I was always amused that he could identify the sports mascot of any college or university I mentioned. I will also remember him as someone who could surprise you with his thoughtfulness and generosity.”

Lovitt recalls a time when Miller brought his son down onto the field at a CCSU football half-time show. “It made a huge impression on my son, and it’s something I’ll never forget. I wish him the very best in his retirement, but I know that a lot of us are going to miss having him here at CCSU.”

According to Miller, the biggest challenge every administrator will face and something that will always present itself as a challenge, is trying to balance the decreasing percentage of money for college paid by the state, causing the increase paid by students to rise at alarming rates.

“Trying to balance a high quality education program without charging the students so much that it gets out of reach for the majority of young people while the states are decreasing the amount that they spend is, I think, the number one challenge,” said Miller. “Cost containment, maintain quality, try to contain costs. And it’s not going to get better, it was a challenge when I started, it’s a challenge now, it’ll be a challenge for the next person, and it’s a challenge all over the country in public education.”

According to Laura Tordenti, Vice President of Student Affairs who reports directly to President Miller, explains that his wise council has assisted her in many challenging matters.

“He listens very carefully and then provides a perspective, insight, or possible solutions that I may not have fully considered. He gets to the heart of a matter very quickly and often challenges my assumptions or thinking on a particular issue. I have made better decisions, or have approached a situation in another fashion, as a result of having talked with him,” said Tordenti.

Miller has continuously made himself available for students and faculty throughout the CCSU community as an ally, particularly for the journalism department in 2012 following the scandal involving soccer Coach Shaun Green throwing away 150 copies of The Recorder in the Student Center over an unfavorable article highlighting the disqualification of the soccer team from the following years postseason because of NCAA academic sanctions.

“If there’s one thing I believe in about education, in particular post-secondary education, it’s that it’s a place where people should come and be challenged and experience different thoughts and ideas; I think that’s what education is,” said Miller. “I’ve had the opportunity on many occasions to defend that principle and I defend it because I believe in it. The printed word and the spoken word is what education is based on.”

Miller has many goals that he’s set in motion that he hopes to see accomplished following his departure. Including, doubling the endowment, which he’s increased already to about $18 to $62 million. He would like to see an increase in the student population by another 50 percent.

“I think there’s a lot of great potential here; you look at the way this place looks and the way it’s going to look,” said Miller. “I think that Central can be one of the better regional public comprehensive universities in the country. I believed that 11 years ago, and I still believe it. There’s a lot that needs to be done to get to that level.”

According to Christopher Galligan, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, explains as president, Miller has done a remarkable job by all constituents by raising the stature of CCSU within his 12 years here.

“His presence in the community, with alumni and friends has helped raise dollars and connect people back to the university,” said Galligan. “He’s an effective leader and focuses on what’s important and allows us to be creative and innovative in a hands-off approach.”

Galligan recalls Miller telling him to embrace failure, to stretch yourself – and that if you’re not failing then you’re not trying. Galligan says he’ll remember Miller most for his sense of humor and his unsuccessful attempts at convincing him that Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band is the best band of all time. “He takes his job seriously but not himself seriously. He created a fun environment for all of us to work in,” said Galligan.

Miller has many exciting plans as he nears retirement life. So far he looks forward to doing some selective public speaking events regarding his new world literacy book set to be published in three weeks, as well as getting his strong golf game back, becoming more aggressively involved in the horse racing business and volunteering at a school to teach young children to read.

“What I will miss about CCSU is what I will miss about being involved in the education of students; I’m gonna miss seeing those students succeed,” said Miller. “I’m going to miss seeing 200 more students a year succeeding than would have. But mostly, I don’t know what I’m going to miss before I miss it.”