Last semester, the University held a few Town Hall meetings to inform students about its intent to request the approval of certain student fee increases. These Town Halls are designed to allow free-flowing discussion among students and administrators.
On Dec. 2, 2022, The Daily Campus published an article (“University leaders propose widespread increases to student fees for the 2023-2024 academic year”) that quoted me, as Interim Chief Financial Officer, saying that “we are proposing to increase fees mainly to cover these contractual increases.” This was an inaccurate statement on my part, and we want to take this opportunity to correct the record.
These Town Hall meetings are intended to provide a full picture of the University’s costs and funding, and how increasing personnel and non-personnel costs compel the university to increase revenues to cover them. The focus on collective bargaining increases suggested an intent to "blame the unions" for the need to raise student fees.
This was not intended, and an apology for such a mischaracterization is appropriate. There are a number of factors that lead to this need, including management salary increases, elevated inflation on non-personnel costs, and the need to close deficits in accounts designed to be covered by student fees.
We met with the leaders of UConn’s union partners and discussed the impact of the comments and how they were received by students and represented employees alike.
For this reason, this message is shared to clarify the University’s respect for our collectively bargained agreements. It was not appropriate to say that the bargained contractual increases were the primary cause of the need to raise fees. We deeply appreciate our union partnerships in delivering high-quality services to our students and patients; we simply could not do our work without them.
For more information, contact: Lloyd Blanchard at Lloyd.email@example.com