Presidential search on track for a mid-April decision

The search for the inaugural President of Vermont State University is well underway. We are seeking to hire a president for Vermont State University effective July 1, 2022. We will be asking our accreditor, New England Commission on Higher Education, to permit the incoming president to serve as the president of Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College during the 2022-2023 transitional year, prior to the July 2023 launch of Vermont State University. Our existing presidents are either on short-term contracts or will be transitioning into new roles.

The members of the 15-person Search and Screen Committee are Megan Cluver, chair of the search committee and vice-chair of the VSCS board of trustees; Sherill Blodget, Castleton faculty; Ryan Cooney, student Trustee; Tyrone Shaw, NVU faculty; Adam Grinold, trustee; Sharron Scott, office of the chancellor; Bill Lippert, trustee; Tiffany Walker, CCV staff; Mary Moran, trustee; Roger Weeden, VTC faculty; Shawn Tester, trustee; Kathleen James, House of Representatives (Bennington-4); Michael Pieciak, Commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation; Michael Solimano, President and General Manager at Killington Resort & Pico Mountain; and Armando Villaseca, former Commissioner of Vermont Department of Education.

The Search and Screen Committee have completed the first round of interviews with candidates, with the goal of identifying 2-4 candidates to come to Vermont for in-person and on-campus interviews and meetings with faculty, staff, and students during the weeks of March 21st and March 28th. More information about the campus visits will be shared later this week once the details have been finalized.
With the logistical challenges of providing candidates with opportunities to meet with all members of the campus communities over a two-day period, given the number of campuses, the distances between them, and the limited time available, a considerable amount of thought and effort is being given to developing a realistic schedule. With each finalist expected to be available for two full days, the schedule anticipates both in-person and hybrid meetings, which is consistent with the vision for Vermont State University.

For example, the finalists will visit the Castleton, Randolph, Lyndon, and Johnson campuses, each of which will hold a community event of their choosing. On the second day of each finalist’s visit, it is anticipated that an all-faculty Zoom town hall and an all-staff Zoom town hall will be scheduled. In addition, we are seeking to schedule an all-community evening Zoom town hall to be held with each candidate.

The board will take time to review the input and feedback of the campus communities before making its hiring decision in mid-April.

Sophie Zdatny is chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges System. This article is an excerpt from her latest transformation update, available on the VSCS’s transformation website, along with other resources, at