With Robert Kennedy’s resignation, will Governor Malloy and the Legislature decide that the Regent-gate crisis is resolved or will they push to ensure that additional people are held accountable for the illegal and inappropriate activities that took place?
Nearly $300,000 in pay raises were “authorized” by Kennedy without the approval of the full Board of Regents, as required under the law.
The Key Issues are;
- Everyone involved was certainly aware of the Malloy-SEBAC state employee agreement which prohibited pay raises for the two years of the biannual budget.
- The Board of Regents’ compensation process is governed by Section 10a-1b of the Connecticut State Statues. It is a new law that was proposed by Governor Malloy, adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor.
- The law is hardly ambiguous. Sec. 10a-1b (b) reads; “The president may employ staff as is deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, temporary assistants and consultants. The board shall establish terms and conditions of employment of its staff, prescribe their duties and fix the compensation of its professional and technical personnel.”
- In addition, on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, the CONNECTICUT BOARD OF REGENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION held a five hour retreat at the Connecticut Science Center as part of the board training process. The first item of the morning was, “Discussion – Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Regents.” Later they discussed the “Fiduciary responsibilities,” the “Decision-making processes within the Board” and “The Board and President’s leadership roles.”
Meanwhile the Board of Regents top executive staff are hardly neophytes.
In addition to Robert Kennedy, there is;
Michael Meotti who serves as the Executive Vice President. He has served as a Commissioner of Higher Education, a CEO of a major non-profit “think-tank” and a State Senator. His raise was $47,800 on top of his initial base salary of $184,424
Elsa Núñez who serves as the Vice President for State Universities. She serves as President of Eastern Connecticut University and has held numerous top level administrative jobs in higher education. Her raise was $48,000 on top of her salary of $299,460
David Levinson who serves as Vice President for Community Colleges. He serves as President of Housatonic Community College and has held other high ranking positions in higher education. His raise was $48,000 on top of his salary of $204,188
And Colleen Flanagan, who served as Governor Malloy’s press secretary for over a year, Director of Communications for the Board of Regents and now serves as the Chief of Staff for the Board of Regents. Her raise was $24,000 on top of her salary of $130,000
Furthermore, the Regent’s Director of Human Relations is one of the two most experienced human relations administrators in Connecticut State Government.
And finally, while the Board of Regents is relatively new, it is made up of members who have significant public and private sector experience. It is inconceivable that some of these board members were not aware that some inappropriate activities were taking place.
The Board of Regent members include;
Lewis J. Robinson, Jr. – Chair Lewis J. Robinson, Jr. is a seasoned attorney with a comprehensive background in business, law and government affairs, as well as charitable organizations.
Yvette Meléndez - Vice Chair – Yvette Meléndez, Vice President of Government and Community Alliances for Hartford Healthcare, has three decades of public policy experience.
Richard J. Balducci – Richard J. Balducci of Deep River is vice president of Doyle, D’Amore and Balducci in Hartford and former Speaker of the House.
Naomi K. Cohen – Naomi K. Cohen has served in numerous educational leadership positions, including House Chair of the General Assembly’s Education Committee.
Lawrence DeNardis – Dr. Lawrence DeNardis is President Emeritus of the University of New Haven and a former United States Congressman from Connecticut.
Nicholas M. Donofrio – Nicholas M. Donofrio led IBM’s technology and innovation strategies from 1997 until his retirement in October 2008.
Matt Fleury – Matt Fleury became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Science Center April 1, 2009, after serving as the Center’s Executive Vice President and COO.
Michael Fraser – Michael Fraser is an undergraduate Political Science student with a minor in History at Western Connecticut State University.
Merle W. Harris – Merle W. Harris has 45 years of educational experience, serving in several positions at institutions of higher education, in Connecticut.
Gary F. Holloway – Gary F. Holloway is a founder of Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, an alternative investment and asset management company. Halloway is, “Managing Member, Principal, and Chairman at Five Mile Capital Partners. He is also the Founder of the firm. Prior to Five Mile, Mr. Holloway spent 15 years at Greenwich Capital Markets/Greenwich NatWest Securities, retiring in 2001 as Chairman of Greenwich Capital. During this period, Greenwich Capital grew from a virtual start-up to one of the premier investment banks in the fields of fixed income securities and structured products.”
Craig Lappen – Craig Lappen is President of 21st Century Financial Advisors in Manchester. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and has an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut.
René Lerer – René Lerer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Health Services, with more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare field. René Lerer, M.D., is, “ chairman and chief executive officer of Magellan Health Services, one of the country’s leading specialty health care management organizations, leveraging clinical excellence, innovation and operational expertise to manage behavioral health, radiology, specialty pharmaceuticals and Medicaid benefits. With revenue of nearly $3 billion in 2011, Magellan is a market leader with broad and deep experience. The company’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving approximately 33.7 million members in its behavioral health business, 17.1 million in its radiology benefits management segment, and 7 million members in its medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment serves 40 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The Company’s Medicaid Administration segment serves 24 states and the District of Columbia.”
Michael E. Pollard – Michael Pollard is co-founder of Optul Global Services, LLC. Also consult for Integrated Technical Systems, Inc.
Alex Tettey Jr. – Alex Tettey Jr. is an undergraduate student pursuing a Liberal Arts and Science degree at Manchester Community College.
Zac Zeitlin – Zac Zeitlin (Westport) is a former partner of Silver Point Capital, where he ran the firm’s Principal Finance business. Zeitlin was a senior partner at Silver Point Capital L.P, “Silver Point Capital is a privately owned hedge fund sponsor. The firm manages hedge funds for its clients. It invests in the public equity, fixed income, and hedging markets of the United States. The firm primarily invests in securities of distressed, large-cap, and Mid-cap companies; bank debts; bonds; and trade claims. It specializes in credit analysis and diversified credit-related investments.”
In addition there are four Ex-Officio members;
Jewel Mullen – In December 2010, Governor Malloy announced his appointment of Dr. Jewel Mullen as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH).
Sharon Palmer – Who has just been appointed Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor
Stefan Pryor – Stefan Pryor was selected by Governor Malloy and the State Board of Education to serve as Education Commissioner in 2011.
Catherine Smith -Catherine Smith is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).