Northern Vermont University is now part of Vermont State University! Please visit for accurate information.

NVU Leadership

The Northern Vermont University Executive Team

Mike Smith, Interim President

Interim President Mike Smith comes to Vermont State University after a long career in public service, most recently as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services where he was a key leader in the state’s nationally recognized COVID-19 pandemic response. Smith also served Vermont as Secretary of Administration, Deputy State Treasurer, and as a member of the general assembly. Smith served the United States admirably as a member of SEAL Team Two and has held various roles in the private sector.


Nolan Atkins, Provost

Dr. Nolan Atkins is the first provost of Northern Vermont University. Nolan, who was the interim president of Lyndon State College during the 2016-17 academic year, is the former chair of Lyndon’s nationally recognized Atmospheric Sciences Department. He began teaching at Lyndon in 1997 and was interim dean of academic affairs for 18 months until serving as president. He has a doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Nolan’s research interests are in the area of mesoscale meteorology with a focus on severe local storms. Professor Atkins has published papers on the sea breeze, dryline, bow echoes, tornadoes, and supercell thunderstorms. He has also been involved in many field programs including the Convection and Precipitation/Electrification Experiment (CaPE), the Bow Echo and MCV Experiment (BAMEX), and both Verification on the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX 1 and 2).

As an administrator, he has a strong commitment to students, faculty and staff in all his previous assignments and comes highly recommended for his integrity, forward-looking vision and data-driven decision making. He is responsible for managing academic programs, administering the review process for faculty promotion and tenure, overseeing development of courses and degree programs, and other essential aspects of academic policy and procedure at NVU.

Nolan is also involved with the ongoing System Transformation that includes the unification of NVU, Castleton University, and Vermont Technical College. He is presently working with faculty and the other Chief Academic Officers to develop the academic program array for the new institution.  He will also serve as the Provost and Chief Academic Officer for the new institution.

Jonathan Davis, Dean of Students

As Dean of Students, Jonathan Davis oversees all aspects of student life, supervising various campus programs and supports that enrich the college experience for students, and serves as a liaison between college administrators and student organizations, such as the Student Government Association. While Student Affairs primarily focuses on non-academic issues, the division is committed to student academic success and in monitoring students who are struggling in or out of class.

Additionally, Jonathan contributes his time to students as the ACHA Club Hockey coach and as an advisor to several campus clubs and the Vermont State Colleges Systems Student Government Association.

Jonathan has worked through all levels within the Division of Student Affairs at Lyndon for the past 20 years. He has served in the capacity of Associate, Interim, and Dean of Students since 2007 at Lyndon and assumed the same responsibilities at Johnson State College in 2017 with the unification into NVU. His experience across all levels of Student Affairs provides him with a ground-level perspective to what students need to be successful, and he is passionate about each student achieving success in the living and learning campus communities.

President’s Leadership Team

The President’s Leadership Team is a cross-campus team with directors and others from functional areas of the university.

  • Mike Smith
    Interim President, Vermont State University and Northern Vermont University
  • Nolan Atkins
    Provost, Johnson and Lyndon
  • Jonathan Davis
    Dean of Students, Johnson and Lyndon
  • Thom Anderson
    Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Johnson and Lyndon
  • Dan Daley
    Professor and Faculty Assembly Chair, Lyndon
  • Sara Kinerson
    Director of Advising, Johnson
  • Sylvia Plumb
    Director of Marketing and Communications, Johnson and Lyndon
  • Janet Bennion
    Professor and Faculty Assembly Chair, Johnson
  • Les Kanat
    Interim Academic Dean, Johnson
  • Lauren Philie
    Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Johnson
  • Jason “Jay” Ryan
    Interim Chief Technology Officer, Johnson and Lyndon