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Finance Committee Looks at Implications of Eliminating USNH Chancellor

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Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC
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The House Finance committee is taking a hard look at a bill that would eliminate the Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire. University trustees say that as written, the bill will cost the universities more money.

Milton Republican Robbie Parson’s bill has the backing of House leadership, and has already been approved in a preliminary vote on the house floor.

Supporters say that the central office of the University system of New Hampshire has become a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy and needs to be pared down.

But members of the system’s board of trustees say they are already working to shrink the central office, and this bill pulls the rug out from under those efforts.

Trustee Will Ardinger says the proposed rules would mean each university would have to hire people to do what before was done in one place.

"This bill won’t reduce costs, it will not reduce costs," says Ardinger emphatically. "If we get rid of one lawyer and have to hire three, that are distributed around, that’s going to increase our costs."

The bill’s sponsor says many of the Chancellor’s office’s functions can be folded into the state treasurer’s office, which would save money on salaries.

The Finance committee is scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow.

 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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