Lawmakers question Herbst on raises for highest paid UConn administrators

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst (Photo:

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Lawmakers angry, outraged at the raises UConn President Susan Herbst has handed out to four of her staff as the rest of the state is laying off and cutting their budgets.

State Senator Danté Bartolomeo (D-Meriden) is one of the senators leading the inquiry. “I like to proceed as trust but verify and we are verifying and I have lost trust,” she told News 8.

She, along with State Senator Martin Looney (D-New Haven,) sent a letter to the university president asking about the raises.

“They are state employees that were given incredible, outrageous raises. One of them, for instance, within a 12-month period, their salary increased $80,000 between a variety of mechanisms, in addition to a $15,000-a-year car allowance,” added Bartolomeo.

Web Extra: Letter from State Senator Danté Bartolomeo to UConn President Susan Herbst

She is referring to the biggest raise, the Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel. He made $250,000 in 2015 and will make $275,000 in 2016. Each year, there is a $25,000 bonus, and each year there is a $15,000 car allowance.

It’s the bonuses and car allowance that concerns Bartolomeo.

“In the letter in the letter from her it’s stated that it will not be added to their base salary. That means we in the Legislature and the Appropriations Committee don’t see that, and I have huge concerns about the lack of transparency there,” said Bartolomeo.

Related Content: Outrage over UConn raises

The announcement of the raises comes on the heels of a 30-percent tuition hike over the next four years. The president says that tuition hike will go to things like infrastructure, classrooms, and more faculty.

Herbst says the raises that were given out were promised back in 2013 and 2014. The car allowances are now folded into the raises.

Web Extra: Response letter from UConn President Susan Herbst to State Senators Looney and Bartolomeo

However Senior Brian Liang says the raises couldn’t come at a worse time, “I was kind of disappointed, because the couple of times I met Susan Herbst she seemed to know kind of what was going on. What the problems we had at the University and what the university is about and how it should be affordable for all students of all backgrounds. But now that she has done this it just kind of seems like she doesn’t know.”

Sen. Bartolomeo adds that right now this is just an inquiry, but it could turn into a full-blown investigation.

“We have lots of questions for them… are there others we are not aware of, and what are there funds they’re using?”

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