Governor Malloy has recently proposed a $1.5 billion addition to UConn’s budget for a long term investment in the school’s research in technology. The bond money is to be added on to the already existing $2.3 billion “21st Century UConn” program and according to Malloy, the investment should have been made years ago. In the same article of the Courant, Malloy stated that had the investment been made earlier, the state’s economy would be in better standing than it is now.
In an article in the Hartford Courant Candice Barrington, an English professor from CCSU, said that Central was being treated as a “red-headed step child”. Though an argument could be made that Malloy’s budget is in fact being made in order to benefit the state by investing money in the school that generates the highest enrollment numbers in Connecticut. However, by admitting that UConn would be the saving grace of the state had it been more than sufficiently funded years ago, there is no question in where priority of higher education lies within Connecticut.
Another explanation for the funding being directed towards the UConn STEM program is to boost enrollment numbers for the state.
The argument of enrollment is contradictory. By denying funding for 17 other schools in the state, while simultaneously cutting their budgets, is preventing a far larger number of college students the tools needed to obtain a degree in higher education than the number of students who will benefit from the increase of opportunities for students at UConn. Enrollment is down across the entire state and is projected to continue to decline, focusing on bringing in more students to just one institution in the state is a flawed way to go about the enrollment issue and if anything will only promote students to transfer from their current school to UConn.
Earlier this semester, the University decided to hire an expert in retainment to solve the issue of declining enrollment. It was decided that Vincent Tinto, a professor at Syracuse University, would receive $10,000 to tackle this problem. This action was commended by The Recorder when it was first covered. It’s a relatively small amount of money and it could resolve a much greater issue.
But the University’s plans differ slightly than those of the state. The efforts by CCSU to improve its enrollment situation could be offset by the state’s eagerness to develop its golden child UConn.
To run the state as effectively as possible, all of its entities must work together to create a successful plan. By creating an atmosphere of adversity among the institutes of higher education, the state will only successfully generate a superiority complex of one university, allowing incoming students to mirror that image and further exacerbate the matter.