Lamont announces new BOR chair at Central roundtable event

Marisa Nadolny

Members of the Connecticut Board of Regents, several university presidents including President Toro, Connecticut Chief Workforce Officer Dr. Kelli-Marie Vallieres, and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Terrence Cheng  joined Governor Ned Lamont on June 12 for a roundtable discussion about the contributions of CSCU to the state’s workforce needs. The group convened at Central.

Before the discussion got underway, Lamont announced the appointment of Martin Guay to serve as chair of the Connecticut Board of Regents (BOR), the governing body for CSCU. Guay has sat on the board since September 2023, and his term expires in 2029. The BOR includes 15 voting members of the board — nine of whom, including the chair, are appointed by the governor.

Lamont said, “Marty is making sure that our curriculum, making sure our community colleges are really aligned in terms of what students need to get into the workforce. He’s making sure our business community and not-for-profit community, like your government, has the skill sets they need to power forward.”

Lamont also cited Guay’s experience as vice president of business development at Stanley Black & Decker as a factor in his decision.

“Marty has spent his career in the manufacturing sector and understands the needs of businesses to have access to a workforce that is already trained with the skills needed for in-demand, good-paying jobs that are driving innovation and building economic opportunities,” Lamont said. “This aligns with CSCU’s overarching goals and efforts to partner with the business community so that when students graduate, they can get started on the right track for successful, long-lasting careers.”

Guay will succeed the board’s current chair, JoAnn Ryan, who announced that she will not seek reappointment to the board when her term as president expires on June 30.

Central President Zulma R. Toro greeted the council as well and congratulated Guay on his appointment, noting his ongoing relationship with Central.

“Regent Guay has been instrumental in listening to and guiding Central on many new workforce initiatives,” Toro said.

She added, “Since our creation in 1849, Central has been committed to the education and development of the workforce of our state. From educators to engineers to business leaders and entrepreneurs, we have educated them all.”

Toro also shared some updates on new academic programs created in response to workforce trends in Connecticut.

“As some of you may know, we are leveraging opportunities in Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence to make sure our students are on the cutting edge of these emerging spaces. In total, the university is launching 30 new programs this fall.”

New programs, she said, include a Master of Social Work; Climate Change Studies; an accelerated Nursing program; and a Master in Criminal Justice Administration, among others across four of the university’s academic schools.

Guay pointed to the significant contributions the CSCU system provides to Connecticut’s economy.

“Our colleges and universities are an integral part of Connecticut’s growth strategy, making an $11 billion annual impact on the state’s economy. I am excited to partner further with Governor Lamont, Chancellor Cheng, the Board of Regents, institution leaders, and community partners on spearheading and implementing initiatives that enable CSCU to continue to offer new innovative courses and programs that meet both students’ aspirations and the needs of our workforce.”

View highlights from the council discussion on Central’s YouTube channel.