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Housatonic and Gateway colleges to share a president …

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Paul Broadie stands outside Gateway Community College on Church Street in New Haven, Conn. on Monday June 12, 2017. Broadie is now presiding over the New Haven school along with his existing role as president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Paul Broadie stands outside Gateway Community College on Church Street in New Haven, Conn. on Monday June 12, 2017. Broadie is now presiding over the New Haven school along with his existing role as president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Paul Broadie stands outside Gateway Community College on Church Street in New Haven, Conn. on Monday June 12, 2017. Broadie is now presiding over the New Haven school along with his existing role as president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Housatonic President Paul Broadie talks with retiring Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick in her office at the school on Church Street in New Haven, Conn. on Monday June 12, 2017. Broadie is now presiding over the New Haven school along with his existing role as president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Housatonic President Paul Broadie with retiring Gateway Community College President Dorsey Kendrick in her office at the school on Church Street in New Haven, Conn. on Monday June 12, 2017. Broadie is now presiding over the New Haven school along with his existing role as president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport. Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II poses inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the state s 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governor s budget proposal for next year. Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II poses inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the state s 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governor s budget proposal for next year. Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II tours the inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the states 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governors budget proposal for next year. Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II takes a tour inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. At left is HCC’s Dean of Admissions and Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rose Ellis. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the states 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governors budget proposal for next year.

A view of Housatonic Community College’s new wing in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. A view of Housatonic Community College’s new wing in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017.

Photo: Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

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A view of Housatonic Community College’s new wing in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. A view of Housatonic Community College’s new wing in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017.

Photo: Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

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Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II poses inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the state ‘s 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governor ‘s budget proposal for next year. Housatonic Community College President Dr. Paul Broadie II takes a tour inside a new wing of the school in Bridgeport, Conn., on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Broadie will become the interim president of Gateway Community College in New Haven in July, when the president there retires. For now, the arrangement is seen as a cost saving measure. The Connecticut State College and University system to which the state ‘s 12 community colleges belong is expecting a $35 million funding cut under the governor ‘s budget proposal for next year.

Housatonic and Gateway colleges to share a president

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The distance between Housatonic Community College[23] in Bridgeport and Gateway Community College[24] is New Haven is not that far. Housatonic s president, Paul Broadie[25], hopes the cultural distance between the two campuses can be as easily bridged. Broadie, 49, will find out come July 1,when he takes on the job of president at both two-year public colleges.

I am going to adjust the schedule so that it is a success, he said of what he considers an interim assignment. I strongly believe given our fiscal situation that we do need to do something and I appreciate the fact that the focus has been placed on students.

The immediate challenge is a systemwide budget deficit that in a best case scenario will force the Connecticut College and University System to cut 4.4 percent in the next fiscal year. The state s longterm goal is to combine 12 community colleges into one, but with each keeping its own campus, identity, unique mission and community connections The roll-out, which could take up to two years, is intended to save $28 million a year.

Once implemented, where there is one institution with 12 campuses, there probably will end up being one president if this moves forward, Board of Regents President Mark Ojakian[26] said.

Pressing pause

Last semester, the Board of Regents for Higher Education[27] set out to streamline the administrations of all 17 higher education organizations it oversees. At around the same time, the presidents at Gateway and Tunxis Community College[28] in Farmington announced their retirements.

So Broadie, whose annual salary is $191,500, got to add Gateway to his duties and James P. Lombella[29], President of Asnuntuck Community College[30] in Enfield, got to take on Tunix. A system committee meets next week to decide whether to give a temporary additional stipend to the double duty presidents. For Broadie, the concept is not foreign. When he worked as a vice president at Orange County Community College[31] in New York, he was split between one main and three satellite campuses. Earlier, as an associate vice president at Mercy College[32], he was split between five New York State locations. Broadie said he expects to spend two days at Housatonic, two at Gateway and split his Fridays down the middle. He wants to be visible both at the colleges and in the community.

I will make sure I am on boards in both places, Broadie said. One of my main focuses when I came to Housatonic (two years ago) was making sure we were part of the fabric of the community. I intend to do that at Gateway.

Dorsey Kendrick[33], Gateway s retiring president, has already introduced Broadie to some of New Haven s key players including Mayor Toni Harp[34].

Kendrick said she has established a management team and culture strong enough to withstand the change.

Whether I am there or not, my staff knows what needs to be done to make sure the mission and vision of the college is maintained, Kendrick said.

At Housatonic, too, Broadie has good people to pick up the slack as well, including strong deans and a wonderful secretary, Sandra Barnes[35], a microbiology professor said.

How hard could it be?

There may be benefits to having a single set of eyes look at both institutions. With 7,217 students last fall, Gateway is the largest community college in the system. It has 90 programs including a culinary program and automotive center. Housatonic had 5,143 students last fall. It has an art collection like none other and an expanding advanced manufacturing program. Its campus consists of two adjacent buildings that used to be an urban shopping mall. Gateway is also where an aging downtown shopping center once stood. Both urban campuses are right off the highway and play a significant role in educating a highly diverse student body.

There are programs they offer that we don t offer and programs we offer that they don t. I think there are opportunities to share and benefit students, Broadie said.

The sharing will extend to personnel, with a gap in Housatonic s financial aid office being filled this fall by someone from Gateway. How much more intermingling occurs will depend on the state budget and the structure developed by a community college consolidation team established by the system. Everyone is being asked to do more, multitasking, take on additional rolls, said Terry Walden[36], assistant director of admissions at Housatonic. Why not the president too?

We know Dr. Broadie is very capable, Walden said.

Reaching for a high bar

As far as Vernay Snow is concerned, Gateway is the antidote to a bad mood.

Even if I m having the worse day, someone there brings me out of it, Snow, a Stratford resident a May graduate of both Gateway and Housatonic. Whether it s the security guard who greets her by name or the college president who let a crying student get past a secretary to her office without an appointment, Gateway has never let Snow down.

At Housatonic, you go to class, you go home, Snow said. I was not as involved. Snow is hoping that, through Broadie, a little of Gateway will rub off on Housatonic.

Barnes, meanwhile, hopes Broadie will bring the family feel she enjoys at Housatonic to Gateway. At Housatonic, she said, people smile at one another. Student will hold open the door when a professor s arms are full.

Barbara Richards[37], a sociology professor at Housatonic and faculty representative to the state s Board of Regents said there is a great trust in Broadie.

In spite of the looming state budget cuts, I think the atmosphere on our own campus is better than I have ever seen it, Richards said.

Lauren Doninger[38], a psychology professor at Gateway said Broadie has huge shoes to fill.

Whenever Kendrick left it was going to be difficult, Doninger said. She has been a transformational leader. That said, Doninger said if the choice is between sharing a president or financial crisis, she will take the half-time president.

She doesn t want to see any colleges close.

I have a feeling it s Let s do this until we have a different plan, Doniger said.

Precedent setting

Two years ago in Ohio, two community colleges aimed to join forces under a single umbrella and one leadership team. The partnership lasted just a year after strong faculty opposition. Under a shared services initiative in 2011, the State University of New York[39] shared presidents between some campuses. That arrangement lasted a year or two.

Martha Parham[40] of the American Association of Community Colleges[41] said she can t think of a single situation where independent colleges have successful shared presidents. Parham wondered what college accreditors have to say about the Connecticut situation.

Barbara Brittingham[42], president of the New England Association of Schools and College[43] s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education which oversees accreditation in Connecticut said a temporary sharing of presidents for two institutions is not, by itself, a significant problem.

The Connecticut State College and University System[44] has announced its intention to merge the 12 community colleges, which is the larger issue, Brittingham said.

When it comes to presidents, size and number of campuses don t matter to the accrediting commission, Ojakian said, the number of institutions do.

Accrediting bodies don t like one president serving two separately accredited institutions long term, he added.

Right now, the community college system has 10 presidents. Ojakian won t speculate what will happen if the school ends up as a single accredited body.

I don t want to jump the gun on the process, Ojakian said. Conversations with (NEASC) are critical, Ojakian said. This is a major initiative. It need to be thoughtful and deliberate. Two years in reasonable.

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