February 24, 2012
QUESTIONS FOR OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AND ACADEMIC AFFAIRS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NOMINEE
By: Terrance Adams, Legislative Analyst II
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AND ACADEMIC AFFAIRS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION (OFAAHE) (PA 11-48, § 244)
The executive director implements the office's policies and directives, which include, among other things, oversight of private occupational schools, scholarship and financial aid programs, and the alternate route to teaching certification program.
1. What is OFAAHE's role in Connecticut's higher education system?
2. OFAAHE assumed many, but not all, of the former Department of Higher Education's (DHE) powers and duties. How have DHE's powers and duties been divided between OFAAHE and the Board of Regents for Higher Education? Have there been any conflicts?
3. What have been the higher education consolidation's greatest benefits and challenges?
4. Some of OFAAHE's decisions, such as academic program approval, require final approval by the State Board of Education (SBE). Given that SBE focuses on K-12 education, has this arrangement presented any challenges for OFAAHE?
5. In his budget adjustments, the governor proposed cutting $3.8 million from the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant (CICSG) in FY 13. What effect will this have on college affordability for students with financial need?
6. The governor's budget adjustments also propose excluding institutions from CICSG funding if their endowment is larger than $200 million. (There are five such institutions in Connecticut.) How will CICSG recipients at these institutions make up for this loss of funding?
7. The governor proposed phasing out the Kirklyn M. Kerr program, which allows Connecticut residents to attend Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and pay reduced tuition. What alternatives will Connecticut residents have for veterinary medicine education?
8. Several independent institutions have argued that their new and revised academic programs should not need approval from OFAAHE and SBE. What is your response to this argument?
9. A recent federal regulation requires institutions to have state authorization to offer postsecondary education as a condition of receiving federal student aid. Do Connecticut's current processes meet the regulation's requirements? Are any institutions at risk of losing federal student aid?
10. Approximately 220 adults each year participate in the alternate route to teaching certification program. How have the participants fared as teachers? Should the program be expanded to accommodate more participants? If so, how could this be done?
11. Please describe OFAAHE's oversight of private occupational schools. Do you feel that any changes to this oversight are needed?
12. What role can OFAAHE play in Connecticut's efforts to strengthen workforce development?