Facing criticism that he is too involved in the governance at the state’s largest public college system, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said his level of oversight is warranted.

“I am going to push performance and I think as governor I have a right to expect that institutions that are spending this much public money measure themselves. And so maybe I’ll plead guilty to being very involved,” the Democratic governor told reporters at the state Capitol Friday.

The Mirror disclosed earlier this week that the Malloy administration asked the chairman of the Board of Regents for the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities to step down as leader. The governor’s chief of staff said during an interview that with the pay-raise scandal and other controversies that beset the system last fall, it was time for a change.

Malloy said Friday that thes change in the board’s chairmanship was appropriate, given that a new president is settling into office.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to change things over from time to time, and on the occasion of bringing in a new head of the system — Dr. [Gregory] Gray — it seemed like a logical thing to do,” he said.

The governor’s role in the resignation of Lewis Robinson as chairman has prompted Republican leaders to complain that the governor is too involved in what historically been an autonomous system.

The governor said the reaction to his actions has been “a little overblown.”

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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