We’ve clearly gone down the rabbit hole. She signed-off on a 5-year, $8 million contract for new football coach Bob Diaco; two years ago her women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma signed a deal worth nearly $11 million; just last spring her men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie scored a $15 deal, and for a time, she was paying Jim Calhoun $1.5 million and he wasn’t even coaching the team! And now she’s crying poor to the state legislature saying there will be layoffs and program cuts under Gov. Dan Malloy’s new, two-year state budget.
UConn President Susan Herbst told a legislative hearing Tuesday, “A reduction to the appropriation in that amount [$10.6 million] would without question have a devastating impact on every aspect of university operations, faculty teaching and research and student successs…The quality of education students receive will go down,” she said. “You won’t be able to get into courses because they are full…With these kinds of cuts we just cannot run the place, and we cannot provide a quality education.”
And oh yeah—let’s not forget the hefty raise she got this year.
If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Nearly a year ago to the day Herbst was saying the same thing to the same legislative committee. It was just this past February 24th that Herbst told the legislature’s budget-writing committee, “We are pretty much down to the bone…We’ve made about as many cuts on the non-academic side as we can. We are going to have to start in the academic side, and it’s very, very worrisome. It’s dangerous.” That plea for financial help came in February despite the $15 million infusion from the state the school received for fiscal 2014-15 to fund the “Next Generation” initiative.