CCV Business Manager, 1976-1979
I left CCV in 1979. I worked there for three years. I was hired as an accountant and then was the business manager. In 1979, I think, CCV was included into the state college budget, and they were going to consolidate the CCV business office with VSC operations in Waterbury. I knew my position was going to be eliminated so I went to work for International Coins and Currency, which was founded by Dr. Steven Hochshild, who had left CCV days before I started. It is funny how life is. My story is:
“CHARGING PEOPLE TUITION” Are you kidding me?
I started to work for CCV in the days of tuition on your honor. In those days I think they charged $25-$30 per course. Yes, per course. It was on the honor system; at registration students would be given an envelope that could be mailed to the main office (ME) or returned to the local coordinator. People would pay what they felt they could afford. We got checks, rolls of quarters, and various denominations in cash and pocket change. It was an honor system that frankly many students took advantage of; however, that was a guiding principle that Peter Smith, and others had. CCV’s education was available to all and financial constraints should not stand in the way. I think Nancy Chard, who was a southern coordinator, spoke frequently of this principle with a great deal of passion. Having only a few years of experience under my belt I knew I was over my head.
Then one day during the legislative session, Peter Smith was on the hill pitching lawmakers for more money. He called me and said, “I need to know how many students pay tuition. I reminded him that we didn’t have that information, because we didn’t track who paid and who didn’t. He wasn’t happy with that response, but the fact was we didn’t know. A few hours later he came back to the office and said we must provide this information to the committee or this will affect our funding. I had to have the information for a 2:00 meeting with CCV staff the next day. He knew we didn’t have it and conceded that the days of on your honor tuition payments were over. I put together the numbers as best I could based on the information we and the committee had. Number of students? We weren’t really sure about that either nor total amount collected. It wasn’t a pretty picture, and Peter realized that this information wouldn’t fly with the committee so the meeting turned into a policy discussion about CCV charging everyone tuition. Well, that was quite a meeting, and in the end it was decided that we would scrap the honor system and charge everyone a flat rate per course. We would budget some scholarship money for those who needed It, etc. Somehow everyone blamed me for this horrible turn of events that our enrollment would decline and the mission of CCV would be unable to be fulfilled, and a scorekeeper should not get in the way of CCV educational mission. Now I had three months to put into place a tuition collection system. I really knew I was over my head and people were very upset and some were uncooperative. However people like Peggy Williams in the Johnson office were a great deal of help. It appears CCV is alive and well. What does a credit cost now? $200.00 a credit hour.