Connecticut’s higher education bureaucracy – including a flagship university and its health center, four state universities and 12 community colleges – employs 29 spokesmen known as public information officers to work with the media, among other tasks, at a cost of more than $2 million.
Meanwhile, Gov. Dannel Malloy and legislative leaders from both parties have announced an agreement to cut state spending without any state employee layoffs – prohibited by the union deal Malloy struck last year – or significant changes to their compensation.
Small changes will reportedly be made, such as eliminating bonuses paid based on how long a non-union employee worked for the state.
The latest version of the executive branch’s list of public information officers, distributed by Malloy’s staff, includes contact information for each agency’s public face.
The executive branch, excluding higher education, has 68 spokesmen listed.
Many spokesmen have responsibilities in addition to speaking with the media.
According to 2011 salary figures from CT Sunlight, salaries for 24 of the higher education spokesmen total more than $2 million.
That doesn’t include the high-profile hiring of a new University of Connecticut vice president for communications who will earn $227,500. This position is not included in the tally of spokesmen either.
The higher education spokesmen include:
- The Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Office of Higher Education have two spokesmen each
- Two community colleges, two state universities, UConn and its health center have two spokesmen
- 10 community colleges, Charter Oak State College and two state universities have one spokesman