Statement on UConn Budget & Potential for More Tuition Increases

June 27, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees’ approval of a budget today that could lead to further tuition increases.

“UConn’s spending has been out of control for years. Administrative bloat has come before students. University leaders have prioritized their own desires over the needs of students. In addition, UConn officials failed to stand up and make their voices heard when Democrat lawmakers approved a new state employee contract that adds even more costs onto Connecticut taxpayers. UConn knew the SEBAC deal was unaffordable and would end up costing students. UConn knew it would hurt students, but officials kept their mouths shut. Instead of raising their voices against Democrat lawmakers pushing the SEBAC deal, they remained silent. Their silence created a situation in which UConn is going to be asking more of students at the same time they will be handing out not only 11% raises to professors, but also $2,000 one-time checks to each unionized employee. The budget issues UConn is facing today were self-created by a school whose administrators have failed to put the needs of students above politics and self-interest.”


  • 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 contract & House Approves UConn Graduate Assistants’ Contract
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Median & UConn President’s Compensation 12th Among Flagship Schools
  • 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.