The state of Connecticut claims that it has a large deficit and it needs to cut the budget for higher education – mostly through cutting the number of faculty positions at the Connecticut State College and University system. However, one questions its higher education priorities.
Expenditures at Central Connecticut State University are a case in point. Data from the Chronicle of Higher Education and from CCSU’s own documents show that:
(1) Administrators at CCSU make significantly higher salaries than administrators at comparable four-year institutions, and professors earn significantly less than professors in similar institutions.
(2) CCSU’s athletics expenditure is ranked THIRD in the nation in percentage of the athletic budget that is subsidized by the state; and since 2010, inflation adjusted spending on athletics subsidies have increased by an average of $240,000 per year. In 2014, the subsidies were nearly $13 million dollars.
(3) Spending on athletics at CCSU increased by 10 TIMES more than increased spending on academics. According to the Knight commission, between 2008 and 2013 academic spending per student at CCSU rose only 2 percent while athletics spending per student athlete rose by 23 percent!
It is time the Board of Regents reconsider spending priorities by cutting administrative cost, reducing athletics spending and investing more in instructional support and more full-time faculty lines to provide more quality higher education for Connecticut residents.
Aram Ayalon, Ph.D., is a professor of education at Central Connecticut State University.