In late June, the University of Connecticut board of trustees caused an uproar when it approved a spend-heavy 2015-16 budget without public discussion, and after only 90 minutes of closed-door review by the board’s finance committee. James H. Smith, president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, encapsulated the frustration when he told the Connecticut Mirror, “To discuss the budget of the state’s premier public university in executive session is outrageous. They should be discussing their budget in public. … The taxpayers pay for the university. Why are they hiding how they want to spend money?”
The Hartford Courant contacted 20 of the 21 trustees to ask them whether they believe, in retrospect, the budget process should have been more open. Only four trustees spoke in detail, and only one, Louise Bailey, said there should have been more transparency. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the board’s ex officio president, declined to comment.
That few trustees are willing to defend the process is cause for suspicion. For the sake of taxpayers, [Read More]