Trustees Seek Comment on Select Committee Report

Trustees Seek Comment on Select Committee Report

A Message from President Elaine C. Collins:

Dear NVU Community,

As you know, work is underway to create a plan to transform the Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) to serve the current and future students at our institutions and the people of Vermont. The Vermont Legislature created the Select Committee on the Future of Higher Education in Vermont to present the best path forward for the VSCS. To help drive its work, the Select Committee engaged NCHEMS (National Center for Higher Education Management Systems) to develop recommendations for the committee.

The VSCS Board of Trustees is seeking input on the report and recommendations. I ask you to share two points 1.) Why NVU supports a transformation that includes consolidation and 2.) The significance NVU has to higher education in Vermont and our region’s economy. To give feedback, visit VSC.edu/Transformation.

To ensure a strong, vibrant, and accessible public higher education system for Vermont, the VSCS must transform. NVU supports the main points of the Select Committee’s recommendations, including consolidation. At the heart of the consolidation is a commitment to access to higher education and a solid and lasting presence for NVU in northern Vermont. NVU ensures access to quality higher education in our region, a pipeline for a skilled and talented Vermont workforce and, overall, has a significant economic impact in northern Vermont.

There is no doubt that NVU provides vital access for Vermonters pursuing higher education. NVU serves some of the state’s most vulnerable students.

  • More than 90% of NVU’s students receive financial aid and/or scholarships.
  • Nearly half of these undergraduate students are the first in their family to attend college.
  • And, 70% of NVU’s students are Vermonters and 75% of NVU Online students are in-state.

Simply put, without NVU, many Vermonters would not receive a college education.

By unifying Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges, NVU has saved the Vermont State Colleges System $9 million and can provide valuable expertise to further unification processes.

NVU is an essential and driving economic and cultural force in the northern tier of Vermont with a total economic impact in the region estimated at over $100 million annually. Additionally, NVU brings funding and resources to address statewide needs and stimulate future growth, including nearly $5 million in the past nine months alone.

With these recent federal grants and gifts, NVU is reinvigorating the forest industry in northern Vermont, expanding education and mental health and substance abuse counseling to the most-rural reaches of our state, and establishing strong business and academic relationships to build the Learning and Working Community. NVU is transforming how a university serves its communities.

NVU supports the Select Committee’s recommendations and embraces the transformation the system needs to serve the students and people of Vermont. I ask that you help us share this support with the Board of Trustees.

NVU began the work of system transformation with the creation of NVU. And NVU is here to help lead the way with the expertise and knowledge we have gained—expertise that colleges and systems across the nation have sought as they, too, transform. Each of you holds a piece of that knowledge and know how.

The VSCS Board of Trustees seeks public comment on the Select Committee’s proposal and seeks written and verbal public comment. Comments received by noon on February 17, 2021 will be shared with the Board of Trustees at their meeting on February 22, 2021. On February 17, 2020 from 6-7:30 pm, the Board of Trustees will also hear verbal public comment on the proposal. To submit written comment/and or attend the session to make public comment, visit VSC.edu/Transformation.

Thank you for your continued dedication to Northern Vermont University.

-Elaine