March 19, 2001
To underscore the importance of an open letter in support of HB 336 to Governor Shaheen and members of the New Hampshire General Court that appeared in today’s Union Leader, the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) held a press conference this morning in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building in Concord.
Otherwise know as USNH’s Knowledge Economy Education Plan (KEEP), HB 336 requests $185 million over six years to fund renovations and upgrades of aging science, technology and engineering facilities on all three campuses – this includes Plymouth State’s Boyd Hall.
“It has been two months since we announced the KEEP initiative,” said Chair of the USNH Board of Trustees Bruce Keough, “and we’ve been busy talking with editorial boards, Rotary clubs, chambers of commerce and legislators. But we haven’t done all the work. The people of New Hampshire have been telling us what they want from their university system.”
According to Keough, New Hampshire wants USNH to meet the expectations of the state’s high school graduates; meet the needs of the state’s entire education system by supplying qualified teachers and continuing education; and meet the need of New Hampshire businesses to sustain income and job growth.
“Unless KEEP receives the support of the legislature in this session, the ability of the University System to meet those needs will be jeopardized,” said Keough.
USNH Chancellor Stephen Reno reinforced its importance, saying, “KEEP is the critical link between a good University System and the New Hampshire work force. The University System has a job to do in service to the state of New Hampshire, and KEEP provides the tools the University System needs to play its role in the state of New Hampshire.”
The letter that appeared in today’s Union Leader was signed by 200 plus residents, business leaders and educators in support of KEEP and HB 336. HB336 is currently under consideration in the Public Works and Highway committee.