The Board of Regents for Higher Education will give Christmas raises to 279 managers before a consulting firm completes a six-figure study of how it pays those employees.

The board, which oversees Connecticut’s state universities and community colleges, hired Sibson Consulting to complete the study.

The study’s goal is to unify the pay schedules inherited from the organizations that merged to form the Board of Regents.

The board will pay Sibson $104,500 to complete the study, plus $9,500 for expenses.

The initial plan, laid out in a request for proposals issued April 1, required the consultant to complete the study by Sept. 3. However, the board didn’t sign the contract with Sibson until Oct. 16.

A spokeswoman for the board did not have a comment before deadline.

After initially planning to keep the value of the raises secret, board President Gregory Gray reversed that position, as reported by the CT Mirror.

Sen. Stephen Cassano, a Manchester Democrat and the newly-appointed chairman of the legislature’s higher education committee, recently told the Journal-Inquirer he would seek more transparency from the state’s public universities.