commons at schwarzman ctr yaleNEW HAVEN: The $150 million donation from Blackstone co-founder and Yale alumnus, Stephen A. Schwarzman, to create a “world-class” campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall is generating an online auction of the existing furniture and fixtures.

The Schwarzman Center is expected to be completed in 2020 to provide a central location for students to meet, eat, and view performing arts.

The Univesrity is auctioning off furniture, fixtures, appliances, and kitchen equipment from the first two floors of the building, through two online auctions at

Screen Shot 2017 12 22 at 10.38.10, an independent website that says it is “dedicated to providing consumers with information and educational materials about home security” released a report on the thirty ‘safest” colleges in the country.

The website cites a survey by Wearsafe Labs a personal secutiry company that said, “70% of parents feel that campus safety is critical to school choice.”

Saewise said, “safety isn’t always just about the campus, though. The city a college calls home also plays a big role in making a final decision. Whether you’re a new college student, sending a child away to school for the first time, or considering a move to a college town, you want to know that the community around the college also has a lot to offer.”

See if your favorite location made this year’s list of the safest college towns in the country.

As could be expected all the choices of top cities could fall into the “town” concept for most parents. Durham, New Hampshire, population 14,500 and home of the University of New Hampshire was given the top ranking. Amherst, Mass. [population 37,000] home to four colleges was given the number 4 ranking. Roger Williams University’s home town of Bristol, Rhode Island [population 23,000] was ranked number 6.

In Connecticut, Fairfield [population 61,000] is, the home of Fairfield and Sacred Heart Universities and was ranked 24 with the site saying, “for the fourth year in a row, Fairfield, Conn. has been named one of the safest college towns in America.”


Norwich Community College


HARTFORD: A controversial plan to consolidate Connecticut’s 12 community colleges into a single accredited institution would shed nearly 190 people in top administrative positions by 2021.

The plan would cut out each institution’s president, budget staff and other administrative positions and form an integrated staff for all the community colleges. It would not close any of the campuses or cut any faculty or student support functions, such as advisor and counselor positions.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education, which oversees the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, will consider the plan Wednesday. The system, which includes the community colleges and the four regional state universities, is under pressure to save money because of declining enrollment and reductions in state funding.

CSCU President Mark Ojakian says the plan would save the community college system about $28 million annually by the time it’s fully implemented.

“This is one way in which we are going to not only save money, provide better services to our students, increase revenue that comes into our system, and at the same time prioritize where we’re going to spend our resources,” Ojakian said.

Ojakian will ask the Board of Regents to endorse implementing the consolidation and gaining approval from the schools’ accrediting institution, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Former Malloy, chief of Staff, and now
Board of Regents President Mark Ojakian wants to centralize
power in Hartford.

Attempting to balance the budget through tuition and fee increases instead would require annual hikes over a five-year period that would more than double tuition by 2022, said Erika Steiner, the chief financial officer of CSCU system.

Even with the consolidation, the schools will remain $13.2 million in deficit next fiscal year as the plan rolls out, a 3 percent shortfall. The next two fiscal years are projected to be in the black if the full savings from the consolidation are realized.

The plan makes some risky assumptions, though, including that enrollment will buck the downward trend of the last several years and remain flat. The state also is facing multi-billion dollar deficits through the 2021 fiscal year, and higher education has regularly been targeted for cuts to close state budget deficits.

Even if state aid and enrollment do remain flat, the savings from consolidation is not enough to put the system on solid fiscal footing for long. Projections show the system will be back in the red in four fiscal years.

Ojakian and his staff also proposed a second plan aimed at saving an additional $13 million by reorganizing how financial aid, enrollment management and other services are delivered. The regents are not scheduled to consider that plan on Wednesday.

If the plan is approved, the CSCU system would expect to begin rolling it out in July 2019, but layoffs could not take place until 2021 because of the recently approved agreement between the state  and its employees.

Ojakian called the plan the most responsible step to take at this point.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with state support, and we also don’t know what we are going to have to do in terms of tuition over time,” Ojakian said. “But my hope by implementing this consolidated approach is not only to be able to have a community college system that’s sustainable in the long-term but that focuses its spending on student services and on students first.”

Education reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas contributed to this story.