The Constitution Room at CCSU’s Memorial Hall was standing-room only throughout CSU-AAUP’s Feb. 10, 2016, Summit on Inequality and the Crisis of Public Higher Education.  DSCN1183 (2)

Expert panelists, legislators, community leaders and advocates launched an important conversation on the direction public higher education is headed. The keynote speech by Bill Fletcher, Jr. was inspiring as he called all to take action against endemic inequality that is plaguing higher education.

A student panel with representatives from the four CSUs also shared their different stories of why they came to CSU, their struggles to afford college or to balance it with work and family, and why they choose to stay and continue earning their degrees.  DSCN1227 (2)An overriding factor in why they stay is the relationships they have built with their professors who guide them in all kinds of areas beyond the classroom, including job references, application essays, study abroad opportunities, and even moral support to keep going until they achieve their dream.

And in this tough budget year, with Governor Malloy calling for drastic cuts across all state agencies, the need to join together and advocate for our CSUs is paramount. One of the Summit panelists, PhilipTrostel from the University of Maine, shared his research into how much a state makes from a citizen with a college degree. Trostel makes it clear that when state legislators and leaders choose to invest in public higher education, the state is better off.  Click here to see a copy of Dr. Trostel’s Powerpoint.

If you weren’t able to attend, the Summit was videotaped in its entirety and will be available soon.  Stay tuned.