Minnesota?

When the Malloy administration forwarded the idea of higher education reorganization, it used Minnesota as the example for Connecticut to follow. However, when the new Board of Regents invited Terry MacTaggart, an expert on higher education reorganization, to share his thoughts, he suggested that Minnesota may not be the ideal model. From the Mirror:

MacTaggart, the author of a 1996 book analyzing higher education reorganizations in five states, said four of the five–in Minnesota, Alaska, Maryland and Massachusetts–failed to achieve their immediate goals. The reasons for failure included unrealistic goals, delays in implementation and mishandled relations with lawmakers, he said.

In Minnesota, for example, the reorganization got off to a slow start because officials focused largely on administrative and managerial matters at the expense of larger issues related to improving education, he said.

He also said most reorganizations ended up costing more than anticipated.

Board Chairman Lewis J. Robinson Jr. said that the board wants to utilize an organic, bottom-up approach to governing. In fact, he asserted that it would be erroneous “to start imposing and pushing stuff down the line. Campuses are where a lot of ideas are percolating.” The members of CCSU-AAUP need to hold the chairman to this promise.

In the end, MacTaggart remains hopeful that the new system, “will be an especially innovative one.” Given that the administration selected a poor model to follow, the system may have little choice but to be innovative. Hope is not a strategy.

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