President Herbst: What We Can Do About Our Budget

The Wilbur Cross Building on Sept. 19, 2017. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
With the University facing unprecedented budget cuts, a rally will take place on campus tonight at 6:30 p.m., and individuals may express their views directly to their legislators. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

To the UConn Community,

As you know, the Connecticut General Assembly recently approved a budget that would cut more than $300 million in funding from the University of Connecticut over two years.

UConn has sustained reductions to our state support for several years and we know that we must absorb cuts as the state works to address its budget challenges. However, $300 million is triple the size of the cut we expected. A reduction of that magnitude is unprecedented, and would decimate the University. Ironically, it came only days after UConn was named the 18th best public university in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has indicated that he will veto this measure. A new budget will be negotiated by the legislature and the governor. We expect that will largely happen over the course of the next several days.

Many students, employees, alumni, and parents have called and written to ask what else they can do to help.

The Undergraduate Student Government and the Graduate Student Senate have organized a Rally for UConn taking place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Greer Field House on the Storrs campus that all students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

You can also express your views directly to your state representative and state senator:

If you are a Connecticut resident, you can locate your legislators through this link: https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgafindleg.asp

(Please note that UConn employees may not use their UConn e-mail account to communicate their personal views to elected officials; your private e-mail account may be used, however. Students are free to use the e-mail account of their choice).

UConn’s ability to offer a high quality education while maintaining our strong commitment to funding student financial aid is why so many of Connecticut’s best students choose to come to UConn. Employers rely on UConn to produce highly skilled, well-educated graduates they can recruit into their workforces.

As I told the university community, such an extreme loss of funding would send UConn’s academic quality plummeting; drive excellent students, faculty, and staff away from the University and out of Connecticut; make a UConn education unaffordable for many students and families; drive down graduation rates; increase class sizes; and gut vital student services, among other terrible impacts.

Protecting funding for UConn will help protect our academic quality, affordability, critical research, and student success. UConn has achieved too much and come too far to turn back now.

Sincerely,

Susan Herbst
University President