Editorial: Force UConn to keep budget debate open – The Day

Any organization doing the public’s business, which is another way of saying spending the public’s money, should understand and appreciate the need to keep the public informed about how its business is being conducted and its money is being spent.

This view is apparently not shared by the University of Connecticut and its governing body. On June 24, the university’s board of trustees adopted a nearly $1.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year, increasing spending in troubled economic times by $103.7 million or nearly 9 percent. It’s worth reminding you that $400 million will come from the state, while much of the rest must be supplied through tuition paid by debt-laden Connecticut students and their families.

So one would think there would be a public interest in how the board came to approve such a big spending increase.

Yet this budget was discussed, amended and finalized behind closed doors during a 5½-hour executive session of the board’s Financial Affairs Committee in May. That was followed by a 90-minute review by the board — also behind closed doors — and the formal adoption in a public meeting that had no public discussion. A UConn spokeswoman points out the budget, [Read More]