AKA: The ongoing saga known as the Connecticut Board of Regents
Earlier this month, at the request of Governor Malloy’s Chief of Staff, the Chairman of the Board of Regents informed that Board that it would be sending the Governor the names of the three finalists. In that way, the Governor and not the Board would be selecting the next president of the Board of Regents.
Wait, What? readers may recall the two posts entitled “News Flash: What the Hell is going on…Malloy snubs nose at Connecticut law” and “Whoa there…Let’s try telling the truth…”
As the CTMirror reported at the time, the Chairman of the Board of Regent explained that the Board forwarded three names for Governor Malloy to pick from following “a request from the governor’s chief of staff to do so.” The news story quoted Board of Regents Chairman Lewis Robinson as saying, “Which ever one he chooses, we have a fine leader…I think all three are outstanding. I am excited.”
All this despite the fact that the letter and spirit of the law was stunningly clear. The Board of Regents was to conduct interviews, select a candidate and the Governor would technically make the appointment. In that way, the selection process would be done at arm’s-length from the politics of the Capitol.
But alas, despite that clear intent of the law, Governor Malloy and his staff couldn’t help themselves. They wanted to determine which of the three finalists were most likely to recognize their supreme authority.
In response to all of this, the Connecticut General Assembly acted with amazing courage and speed and actually fast-tracked legislation “clarifying” the law by taking away Governor Malloy’s authority to even make the appointment. The new bill put the duty to appoint in the hands of the Board of Regents, tracking the approach that exists with the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees.
When the dust settled, there was no bill signing on this one. No smiling faces crowded around the Governor waiting for their copy of the pen that signed the legislation into law.
Instead, as the Hartford Courant noted in their story, “According to a statement from the governor’s office, Malloy ‘signed legislation he proposed in collaboration with state lawmakers’ and said ‘the change will help the next leader institute a long-term vision that increases stability and academic growth for the students at the state’s colleges and universities.’”
Malloy’s statement went on to read, “’I want to thank the members of the House and the Senate, including the chairs of the Higher Education Committee, for working with my administration on introducing this bill and acting quickly on its passage,’ Malloy said, according to the statement.”
So there you go — it turns out that it was all one big misunderstanding and Governor Malloy was actually the one who wanted the new law that made it clear that it was the Board’s responsibility and not his to make the appointment of the next president of the CSU and Community Colleges system.
Thank goodness that was clarified before the governor was forced to personally choose the next president.
You can read more about this story in the follow CTMirror article: http://ctmirror.org/story/19758/after-controversies-general-assembly-votes-remove-governors-authority-naming-college-pre