UConn Students Walkout Over State Budget Allocation for University

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UConn students walked out of class Wednesday and traveled to the state Capitol in Hartford in response to Gov. Ned Lamont’s two-year budget plan. The university president said the budget falls short of adequately funding the university and could lead to increasing tuition by thousands of dollars.

Dr. Radenka Maric. the University of Connecticut’s president, said if it is enacted as proposed, the budget would leave the university with a shortfall of nearly $160 million next year and that could result in a tuition increase of $3,000 per student at UConn Storrs.

Maric has said that if they are faced with budget challenges, all non-academic expenses, including the cost associated with playing basketball games at the XL Center, are on the table.

According to the university, one basketball game at the XL Center costs UConn $60,000 to 70,000.

UConn spent approximately $4 million competing at the XL Center and Pratt & Whitney Stadium in 2021-22.

Lamont's office released a statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying there is a "historic level" of state funding for UConn in his budget proposal.

“Our budget proposal includes the largest block grant ever proposed for UConn in state history. I am a strong believer in UConn’s contributions to the economic growth of Connecticut, and that is why I’ve proposed increasing the state block grant funding for the university every year since taking office. Our proposal provides UConn with funding to support wage increases and brings pension and retiree health costs onto the General Fund to enhance their competitiveness in obtaining grant funding," Lamont said in a statement.

“The COVID-19 federal relief funds were intended to be one-time in nature, providing support during the public health emergency. Those federal dollars were never intended to pay for ongoing expenses. The UConn administration’s insistence that the state continue covering this federal aid now that it is no longer available is not a fiscally sustainable solution," Lamont said in a statement.

“I am immensely proud of the accomplishments of our UConn students, faculty, and alumni. UConn must remember they are accountable to the taxpayers of our state and must maintain fiscal controls, like every other part of state government,” Lamont added.

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