CSCU President Mark Ojakian has mentioned repeatedly that contract negotiations with unions in higher education are important because of a dire need to rein in spending within our system. I agree. However, before we once again attack the problem of “doing more with less” we have a responsibility to the taxpayers and students to clearly detail how we currently spend. As a system, we haven’t done this.
The Mirror’s recent article on CSCU President Mark Ojakian portrayed him as a good listener, a mediator, a reasonable man, and a really nice guy. But the warm feelings engendered by the Mirror’s puff piece should not be allowed to obscure the fact that the contract proposals put forward by his Board of Regents are nothing short of a scorched-earth attack on the faculty of Connecticut’s four state universities and the students they serve.
People’s perception of the work that others do is often inaccurate. This is especially true for university professors. The public in general, and politicians in particular, and even our governing body, the Board of Regents, seem to believe the work that full-time professors do is easy and largely limited to the classroom. Is this perception accurate? Let’s look at what professors actually do.
I have been associated with student newspapers throughout my college career. I cringe when administrators and others attempt to limit the freedom of the press. I think the college does more harm than good with these actions.
The movement to label foods containing genetically modified organisms is based on bad information and flies in the face of scientific reason. If state legislatures continue to pass bills that support the anti-science agenda, we will end up with a patchwork of unnecessary regulations that stand to negatively impact the food industry and ultimately hit consumers where it hurts most—in their wallets.
Many people instinctively understand that compassionate support is important for people who have lived through abuse and trauma, but instinct can make for a poor teacher. Our initial response to a survivor’s disclosure of past abuse can have a profound impact on his chances for recovery.
The policies of some Connecticut insurers are forcing women to resign themselves to hot flashes or subject themselves to unintended consequences associated with exposure to medications not well studied or indicated for the treatment of the potentially debilitating condition.
More than 80 percent of the students in the Connecticut State University system remain in the state after graduation, providing the state with a well-educated, tax-paying workforce. The state should treat the system like the economic engine it is rather than continually cutting its budget.
Education reform in Connecticut has a paint-by-numbers quality that, while stifling creativity and individualism, produces paint-by-numbers results. It is time to think more clearly about what is motivating this so-called reform and who stands to gain from it.