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CSCU president warns budget cuts could force school closures

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HARTFORD — The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities leader is warning that campuses may close if the system’s budget is cut to the degree suggested by the governor and state lawmakers.

CSCU President Mark Ojakian said Wednesday that recently revised budget proposals from Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican and Democratic lawmakers include cuts ranging from an additional $5.4 million to the state universities and $19 million to the community colleges to upward of $90 million to the overall system.

Malloy and legislative leaders, who began budget talks Wednesday, updated their respective budget proposals to accommodate a larger-than-expected deficit for next fiscal year. It has grown from $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion.

Besides closing campuses, Ojakian said CSCU may have to eliminate certain student services and make significant workforce reductions.