Higher Education Testimony: Senate Bill 997 (Faculty Representation Bill)

Chair Slap, Chair Elliot, Ranking Member Witkos, Ranking Member Haines, and Members of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on Senate Bill 997: An Act Concerning An Expansion of the Membership of the Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut and the Voting Rights of the Faculty Members of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. (AKA: The Faculty Representation Bill).

My name is John Board, a graduate of the Connecticut State College and University System and former member of the Student Advisory Committee of the Board of Regents. For members who have served on this committee for some time, it should not be a surprise that I am in favor of this bill, specifically the section 2 provisions.

However, I am absolutely surprised that the leadership of this committee did not include, at first glance, the student representation counterpart for this public hearing. The student representation counterpart of this bill is House Bill 6230. I look forward to the opportunity to join with students and fellow alumni to make the case, at a future public hearing.

Over the last seven years, I have consistently put forth the CSCU representation bill to help bring parity to and for students. Last term this committee voted out the “student representation bill” by an overwhelming margin (16–6), with a broad bipartisan coalition in support and on the bill as co-sponsors. The bill ended up getting a favorable (amendment) vote in the Senate and died in the House as a victim to the clock, sine die!

I would hope that members of the committee would strongly consider adding the student representation bill as an amendment to this legislation. I have attached my previous “Restore the Representation” one-pager, from the last session, for the committee’s consideration. This proposal reforms the Board of Regents and allows for the legislature to take back control and provides faculty and student proportional representation.

I thank you for your time and consideration. I am happy and prepared to answer any questions which the committee may have.

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Testimony, as prepared, delivered to the Connecticut General Assembly Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

An innovative, passionate, and outspoken leader who pursues change in public policy to make a difference!— Follow on twitter & facebook: @JohnBoardCT.