A higher education official, who is also a community college president, disputed accounts Monday that 12 community college presidents were offered a "buyout" at a September meeting.
David Levinson, president of Norwalk Community college and also a vice president with state Board of Regents for Higher Education, insisted that no one's job was threatened at the Sept. 24 meeting, but that presidents were presented with an option to pursue separation if they felt they could not support the significant reform under way in higher education.
"There was absolutely nothing in terms of anybody's head being put on the chopping block," said Levinson, who attended the meeting. "It was a discussion."
By contrast, Barbara Douglass, president of Northwestern Community College in Winsted, said Monday that all 12 presidents were offered a "buyout" and that the presidents were filled with "shock and awe" after the meeting. She said most haven't spoken up because of fear that their "jobs are on the line."