VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding responds

I appreciate the chance to comment briefly on the recent Basement Medicine article, “NVU Community Signs Petition Calling For More Funding.” Thanks very much to the Vermont State Employees Association and the VSCS Staff Federation for creating a petition calling on the chancellor and our elected officials and lawmakers to increase funding. The more people involved in this important effort, the better. Although we have been successful in securing a 25% increase in funding for the Vermont State Colleges System in recent years, we still are in the basement in terms of state support, compared to all the other states in the country. Our trustees and I will continue the clarion call regarding the harmful effects on students of such low state support.
There is no question that Northern Vermont University, like almost all colleges and universities these days, is working hard to reduce expenses in order to live within available revenues. That does cause frustration and even pain in some cases. But, at the same time, I am so impressed with the creativity and innovation that is taking place at NVU. For example, new degree and credential programs have been launched, online options have expanded bringing in new students that otherwise would not be able to enroll, and a $1.8 million grant has been secured to support innovative approaches to improve student success. I feel a positive vibe every time I am on campus. NVU is lucky to have leadership, faculty and staff committed to providing the best possible student experience. As Chancellor, I am committed to doing my part as well. So is our Board of Trustees. In the coming months, they will be conducting a review of the services, staffing, expenses, and location options for the Office of the Chancellor. I welcome that review and look forward to sharing the results with you. I also welcome visitors to stop by the Office of the Chancellor when in Montpelier.