Fasano Statement on UConn Proposed Tuition Increases

June 13, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the University of Connecticut’s proposals to potentially further raise tuition increases scheduled for the Fall of 2019.

“The extravagance and overspending we have seen at UConn continues to take a toll on its students. For years, UConn’s spending on questionable priorities with little oversight has been out of control. UConn has made contracts and commitments that they cannot afford. At the same time they have imposed tuition increases and blamed the state for their issues, the school has also awarded exorbitant raises and allowed spending to go unchecked. The problems they face today were self-created by a university that has failed to live within its means and has shown questionable judgement, prioritizing administrative bloat over the needs of their students,” said Fasano.


  • As part of President Herbst’s current contract, even after she retires from leading the university she is guaranteed a tenured position teaching political science making at least $300,000 if not more. (From her contract: “The rate of pay for this position is equal to that of the highest paid faculty member excluding the health center faculty.”)
  • This year, UConn negotiated contracts with graduate assistants including raises and based their contract on the SEBAC deal. If UConn agrees with Republicans that the SEBAC deal is unaffordable, why did they use it as a model for a contract the university negotiates themselves? In addition, where was UConn’s voice when SEBAC was voted on? Why did they not join Republicans and speak for the students and explain such a deal would result in tuition increases?  (Committee approves $15 million UConn graduate assistant union contracthttp://www.yankeeinstitute.org/2018/04/committee-approves-15-million-uconn-graduate-assistant-union-contract/ & House Approves UConn Graduate Assistants’ Contract http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-house-votes-uconn-contract-20180426-story.html)
  • In 2016, when facing financial challenges, UConn awarded significant pay increases to its president, athletic department staff, and top administrative staff.  (In Tough Times, UConn Hands Out Raises to Top Staff http://www.courant.com/education/hc-uconn-raises-herbst-20160622-story.html)
  • In 2016, UConn negotiated a tone deaf employee contract that eventually had to be withdrawn. The deal would have guaranteed annual raises for 5 years at the same time tuition increases of 31 percent were being approved by UConn’s board of trustees. (Raises for UConn professionals spark broader CT budget debate https://ctmirror.org/2016/02/25/raises-for-uconn-professionals-spark-broader-ct-budget-debate/)
  • UConn’s president has been paid significantly more than presidents at other universities. In addition to her base pay other perks have included retirement benefits, cars, houses and deferred compensation. (Report: UConn President Salary Above National Medianhttp://www.courant.com/data-desk/hc-report-uconn-president-salary-above-national-median-20150608-htmlstory.html & UConn President’s Compensation 12th Among Flagship Schools http://www.courant.com/education/hc-herbst-salary-ranking-20160718-story.html)
  • The UConn Foundation has used funds for questionable expenditures and lobbied against transparency of how it spends its funding. In 2014, the foundation paid Hillary Clinton over $250,000 to speak to students. In 2013, the foundation paid $660,000 cash to buy a house for President Herbst in Hartford. The foundation has also paid for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to attend multiple international trips.
  • Oversight issues have plagued UConn. An audit released this year details issues at UConn Health Center specifically in which state policies to control costs were repeatedly and knowingly violated. A 2017 audit shows significant failures including reports of prisoner deaths related to treatment within UConn Health Center’s Correctional Managed Health Care, a no bid contract awarded to UConn and clearly mismanaged. Another recent example of the lack of oversight is the disturbing and tragic case of Professor Pierluigi Bigazzi who was paid by the university for months after his murder with the university failing to check in to see if he was present or working in any capacity.