Jamey Ventura, associate dean of athletics, to leave NVU


Associate Dean of Athletics Jamey Ventura is stepping down after 10 years, serving first at Johnson State College, where he was hired as director of athletics in 2011, and then for the past three years at Northern Vermont University.

Ventura’s pending departure was announced in an email from NVU President Elaine Collins on June 1, in which she wrote, “Under his leadership, first with the Badgers and then also with the Hornets, NVU has created a culture that nurtures our student athletes for success on the playing surfaces and in the classroom, and as leaders in our community. As head of NVU athletics, Jamey brought our two athletics departments together with a healthy sense of competitive camaraderie.”

Ventura’s tenure at the helm of the athletics department at JSC and then at NVU for both campuses has been noteworthy for multiple reasons.  Under his watch, athletic recruitment and student athlete retention rates were substantially increased, and the student-athlete culture at the university has been significantly transformed.  

“During his tenure, Jamey made student leadership and social justice his top priorities,” Collins wrote. “Student athletes have been leaders within the NVU community and student athletes have made their voices heard in support of social justice, inclusivity, and racial equality. These same student athletes committed to more than 400 community service hours annually on both campuses. Additionally, Jamey helped add athletic, intramural, and recreational programs at NVU and engaged our athletic alumni and community partners to develop a culture of philanthropy to enhance the experiences of our students.”

Collins noted that in conversations with her, Ventura stressed none of his accomplishments “would have been possible without the dedication of his athletics staff. He expressed gratitude for their tireless work and for their creativity and passion as educators, advisors, role models, and mentors to our NVU students.”

Following Ventura’s resignation, Greg Eckman will serve as director of athletics on the Johnson campus while Chris Gilmore will assume that position at Lyndon. 

Ventura’s departure is the most recent in a spate of high-level administrative resignations over the past several months against the backdrop of further sweeping transformations involving the merger of NVU, Vermont Technical College, and Castleton University by fall 2023.

Earlier resignations include Associate Dean of Enrollment and Marketing Michael J. Fox, Director of University Development and External Relations Leah Hollenberger, Dean of Administration Toby Stewart (who will be moving to the Vermont State Colleges System Chancellor’s Office to become VSCS controller) and Miles K. Smith, assistant athletics director and head men’s basketball coach. 

On May 17, Collins,who became president of Johnson State College in 2015 prior to assuming NVU’s presidency in 2018, announced her intent to leave NVU in the middle of August.