HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — More than a hundred Connecticut State University students and faculty rallied Thursday morning outside the Board of Regents office in Hartford. Protesters are frustrated with the Board’s contract proposals, which they believe will threaten the quality of education and academic freedom at Connecticut State Universities. They’re concerned that the proposals will lead to bigger classes, less funding for research and less time for professors to spend with students. Protesters say they’re not looking for money, they want to negotiate.
“Some of the things that they proposed are simply not negotiable, and we would hope they would understand why that is and withdraw,” said Stephen Cohen, English Department Chair and President of Faculty Senate at Central Connecticut State University. “I hope to be able to persuade the board today to work with us and for us.”
Meanwhile, the Board of Regents was meeting inside the building. The protesters attended the meeting after the rally. A spokesperson for the Board says they respect the faculty and students’ opinions.
“What we’re doing with them at this point is negotiating, and negotiating is a process,” said Michael Kozlowski, Connecticut State Universities Director of Marketing and Public Affairs. “We would just like everybody to sort of sit back and let that process work.”
The Board and the students and faculty have until June 2016 to get the contract in place. The General Assembly then has to approve it.