October 11, 2012
In a move to “re-frame” the discussion, Governor Malloy’s press operation released a statement, earlier today, regarding the Board of Regents.
The press release quoted the Governor as saying, “The developments of the past week at the Board of Regents’ central office have unfortunately overshadowed the accomplishments that have been achieved over the past year as the result of the reforms that were implemented.”
The list of accomplishments the followed included their plans to create 47 new faculty and student support positions and the creation of “three new manufacturing centers.” They deserve credit for both items.
However, they crossed the line between political spin and revisionist history when they added, “In addition, the Board approved a seamless transfer and articulation proposal that will allow students throughout the system to transfer schools much more easily. That proposal languished for close to 30 years. Now it’s happening.”
No one can blame them for trying to shift the focus from the debacle of Regent-gate, but knowingly misrepresenting the facts is particularly offensive.
The truth is that thanks to many Connecticut state legislators and higher education leaders, Connecticut has been consistently making improvements in its higher education transfer and articulation programs for the last three decades.
I can certainly understand why they’d overlook the work that I did in my ten years as a State Representative, but there were many others who spent countless hours working on improving mechanisms to allow student to transfer from Connecticut’s community colleges to Connecticut’s State Universities and the University of Connecticut.
Thanks to Nancy Wyman, who now serves as Malloy’s Lt. Governor, Kevin Sullivan, who now serves as Malloy’s Commissioner of Revenue Services, and other legislators such as State Senator Joan Hartley and State Representative Roberta Willis, successful legislative efforts to improve transfer agreements took place in 1991, 1995 and 2001. All of those bills, along with others, have played a significant role in developing Connecticut’s transfer and articulation policies.
A Columbia University study in 2006 found that, “The Connecticut higher education system has been making major strides toward a more comprehensive system of transfer articulation.”
In particular, Connecticut won accolades for having “career path agreements in business, early childhood education, teacher preparation, allied health, nursing and engineering. They are at the systemic level, not left to arrangements between specific institutions.”
When William Cibes served as the Chancellor of the Connecticut State University System and Mark Herzog served as the Chancellor of the Connecticut Community & Technical Colleges, the two of them led a successful effort to develop unprecedented transfer options between Connecticut’s Community Colleges and the Connecticut’s State Universities.
Those efforts led to a student recruitment program framed by advertising that, “Connecticut State University has formed a transfer compact agreement with all 12 Connecticut Community Colleges which will benefit you if you are planning to enroll at a Connecticut State University after you finish your associate degree. Beginning your college education at any of the Connecticut Community Colleges and then completing your education at CSU makes it easy for you to outline your path to success.”
The particular advantage of that transfer compact was that students participating in the program were guaranteed unconditional admission to one of the Connecticut State Universities upon successful completion of their associate’s degree, although specific academic and professional programs did have additional admission requirements.
Let’s be honest…there is simply no doubt that phrases like, “That proposal languished for close to 30 years,” makes for good political rhetoric.
However, Malloy’s press statement is not only an insult to everyone who worked on this important issue over the past thirty years; the statement is nothing short of a falsehood.
While political spin has become the primary currency of American democracy, when spin crosses the line to outright lying, it needs to be directly confronted.
Today, a bi-partisan group of legislators called for the resignation of Robert Kennedy, the President of the Connecticut Board of Regents.
That would certainly be a good start, but the blame for what has occurred at the Board of Regents rests on the shoulders of a number of other senior executives as well
Malloy’s latest press statement can be found here: http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/cwp/view.asp?Q=512282&A=4010