Northern Vermont University Strong

NVU is Community. Action. Creation. 

The nomination period to serve on the NVU Strong Advisory Committee has passed.

Northern Vermont University is at a time in its history that it must turn to the strengthening of its two campuses at Johnson and Lyndon as well as NVU Online so that it can thrive into the future. To ensure its strength and vitality as it rides out the demographic and disruptive challenges of higher education today, NVU must right-size—focus on its core mission, find new revenue streams, and form new partnerships so it stands ready to serve generations to come. 

Charge of the NVU Strong Advisory Committee

This committee will identify sustainable models and other initiatives that collectively would ensure NVU could continue to serve Vermont students and communities for generations to come. The models and initiatives must achieve a significant annual budget reduction and/or additional revenue generation starting in FY22. The models and initiatives must be proposed to VSCS Board of Trustees in June 2020 for informed Fall 2021 recruitment. This work will be done within the context of the Vermont State Colleges System and its institutions, which are also undergoing major transformation, greatly accelerated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement of the Issues Facing NVU 

NVU, similar to other higher education institutions across the nation, has struggled due to declining demographics, years of low state support, excess capacity in residential academic facilities, and increased disruption of higher education, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
NVU projects a near-term operating deficit of approximately $4 million this fiscal year, in part due to COVID-19-related costs.

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2021, all institutions of higher education are anticipating a decline in enrollment due to COVID-19 concerns. NVU is not immune to this issue and is planning for new student enrollment to be down more than 20% for the upcoming year. 

The Advisory Committee will: 

  • Have a shared commitment to developing sustainable models that include the Lyndon and Johnson campuses as well as NVU Online 
  • Vet ideas received 
  • Identify and explore concepts  
  • Propose future model(s) that meet the goals of the committee to the NVU President by the end of May 2020.

Criteria for Advisory Committee Members

  • Be an “out of the box thinker”
  • Be respected by their peers and/or in their community 
  • Understand the magnitude of the issues facing NVU 
  • Be committed to an institutional focus
  • Understand the higher education system and/or workforce development and/or community needs 
  • Be committed to the success of NVU as a whole, with Johnson and Lyndon campuses as well as NVU Online

Make up of the Advisory Committee 

  • The Advisory Committee will consist of 13-17 people, including the Chair.
  • It will be made up of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. 
  • NVU Provost Nolan Atkins will serve as Chair given the models will be proposed to NVU President Elaine Collins
  • Selection from nominations will be made by the NVU Executive Team.
  • The Committee will receive support from an external consultant/research organization, NVU President Elaine Collins, members of the NVU Executive Team, and staff experts in finance, facilities, development and alumni relations, human resources, marketing and communications, along with administrative support.  

Time Commitment of Advisory Committee Members

Serving on this committee requires a significant time commitment in a short time period. We anticipate at least two meetings weekly from 5/5-6/1 with additional work required between meetings. Meetings will be held via Zoom. 

Meetings are tentatively scheduled for: 
5/12/20: 9:30 am-11 am 
5/14/20: 1 pm-3 pm 
5/20/20: 1 pm-4 pm  
5/22/20: 1 pm-4 pm
5/27: 11:30 am-1 pm 
5/28 or 5/29: TBD\