University of Vermont

Office of the President

Board Report (05 -15-03)

President's Report to the Board of Trustees (May 15, 2003)

Mr. Chair, fellow trustees, colleagues and friends, we’ve come to what’s always an exciting moment: the end of the academic year when we celebrate the milestones reached by students who, in completing their undergraduate and graduate degrees, remind us at a moment of joy and celebration what our enterprise is all about, the development of the full potential that lies within them—and within all of us who live and work to serve them. We also celebrate the high distinction of our outstanding faculty (in recent weeks we’ve had awards ceremonies recognizing four new University Scholars—Dan Archdeacon [Mathematics], Robert Nash [Integrated Professional Stud-ies], Patricia Prelock [Communication Sciences], and Paula Tracy [Bio-chemistry and Medicine] and our newest Kidder Award winner, Robert Lawson [Psychology]). And we recognize the achievements and dedication of our staff (I just handed out diplomas yesterday to graduates of the year-long President’s Leadership Course). This moment is also, for me, a personal milestone and, for UVM, an institutional one, the end of the first academic year of the Fogel administration.

I want to take the occasion to thank all of those who have provided me throughout this year with support, encouragement, instruction, and occasional correction, among whom I count our wonderful students, staff, faculty, and alumni, the people of the State of Vermont, and, collectively and individually, this Board of Trustees. The past year has been one of remarkable progress for the University of Vermont, a record of achievement that expresses the aspirations and represents the efforts of many individuals who together share a passion for the life of the mind, for the development of human knowledge and talent, for service to society, and for the very distinctive and distinguished inflections we give those enterprises at the University of Vermont.

The fronts on which UVM has advanced this year to date are almost too numerous to mention. Any list, however, would be omissive if it did not include these items:

  • enhanced federal, state, and community relations;
  • significantly improved administration-faculty relationships;
  • important early steps in the reform of the internal operating culture and of business operations at the University;
  • the Trinity College acquisition;
  • the advancement of capital planning (especially with respect to student housing and the Student Commons project, on which we will have a major report tomorrow afternoon);
  • the rapid and highly successful expansion of student-oriented campus programming (you should hear the enthusiasm with which the students talk about what Tom Gustafson, David Nestor, Patrick Brown, and the enterprising students—all first-years—on the Campus Program Council have accomplished in that arena);
  • the move toward implementation of the automated degree audit system to improve student advising;
  • the terrific progress (in a challenging economic environment) of the Comprehensive Campaign, which has allowed us to move the kick-off event for the public phase of the campaign from February 2004 to Homecoming Weekend, October 2003, with kudos to Ian deGroot, Mike Schultz, and all of their colleagues for such great results and—most especially--with gratitude to our generous donors;
  • the great success this spring of the first in the new series of Presidential Lectures, with many thanks to the faculty hosts and to the Faculty Senate Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Graduate Education, whose members, led by Professor Bill Lakin, sifted consistently outstanding lectureship proposals from prospective faculty hosts in a competitive application process;
  • the creation of the Office of State and Federal Relations, with kudos to Karen Meyer and her colleagues;
  • the approval of the Honors College, with deep appreciation for the outstanding work of Lauck Parke, Gary Derr, and the faculty on the Honors College Council, and above all for the intrepid leadership of Provost John Bramley;
  • The evolution of the University of Vermont Faculty Senate as a highly effective governance body under the leadership of Michael Gurdon, Dave Dummit, Judith Cohen, and their colleagues on the Senate Executive Council (whose signatures are also writ large on the creation of the Honors College);
  • the advancement of information technology and campus facilities master planning processes;
  • the continuing surge in the number and quality of applicants to undergraduate and graduate programs;
  • the sustained climb in external grant and contract awards;
  • the exciting work we are doing with Generation on positioning UVM, as exemplified in the freshman view book, the campaign case statement, and web-site design, all of which are in the late stages of development, gratifying on schedule;
  • the sustained and numerous favorable notices of the University in Vermont, regional, and national media, with kudos to Enrique Corredera, Jeff Wakefield, and also to Tom Weaver and the outstanding team at Vermont Quarterly;
  • the success of Catamount athletics, led by skiing and men’s basketball, with women’s basketball, men’s soccer, and an improving hockey program not far behind—and how about the Catamount baseball team this spring—superb!;
  • the successful completion of the process of creating a first contract with the new faculty union, and the tremendous work that has been done in the demanding initial stages of implementing the agreement—work done in the academic units as well as in administrative and support units;
  • and, above all, long-term visioning and strategic planning, the latter under the leadership of Provost Bramley and the University Planning Council, including the continuing development of a strategic budget that shows promise of creating the resource base that will allow the University to continue to build the highest levels of academic quality by investing in people, programs, and facilities, and that in doing so will create the opportunity for some very significant leadership and decision-making in the years to come for this Board.

At this season of transitions, we have a number of significant departures I want to note. There are retirements of outstanding faculty, far too many to recite this afternoon (though I would like to enter their names into the record in the written version of these remarks) accompanied by the retirements of some legendary figures in UVM athletics, notably Rick Farnham, Chip Lacasse, Ed Kusiak, and Perry Bland. To all of our retirees, faculty and staff, we extend heartfelt thanks for your years of service and our very best wishes for the next exciting phase of your lives. We have also lost a few—happily very few—colleagues to other institutions, and I will single out two whose career trajectories say something very powerful about the very high quality and character of the University of Vermont. We are losing a truly marvelous colleague in Nathan Peters, Director of Finance and Budget and Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. Nate’s outstanding professional qualifications and personal character—he is truly a prince of the realm—have led to an offer he simply could not refuse from one of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges, Wesleyan University. We will miss him greatly, and wish him all the best. And Keith Cieplicki, having led our women’s basketball team to many famous victories, is off, we all know, to Syracuse, a strong institution academically that is also a major power in the world of Division I NCAA Athletics. That we have colleagues who become targets of opportunity for some of the truly prominent institutions in the nation is no surprise. That we lose so few says volumes about the growing competitive advantage of the University of Vermont in what I have always believed is one of the most competitive enterprises in the world, higher education on the level of the great research universities.

In fact, our recruiting position is currently very strong, not only for students, as we have heard, but also for faculty and staff. Last year we brought in a group of faculty—including Robert Costanza and his colleagues in the Gund Institute—who are already helping to shape UVM and the wider world in very significant ways. This year, we have heard again and again that the applicant pools for faculty positions are extraordinary in numbers and quality—in searches, for example, for key positions in Agriculture, in Engineering, and in Arts & Sciences. Meanwhile, we are putting the finishing touches on the senior team of the Fogel administration. You all have heard, of course, about the outstanding new Athletic Director we’ve recruited in the person of Robert Corran, a proven winner who was drawn to UVM in large part by our commitment to academic excellence, which I know he shares. Not all of the key appointments are external. I was very moved, and very grateful, that two terrific members of the UVM faculty have accepted appointments as Vice Provosts in critical positions, Professor Denise Youngblood as Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Professor Willi Coleman as Vice Provost for Multicultural Affairs. Provost Bramley and I have recruited from NYU a dynamic new colleague to serve jointly as Chief of Staff for both of us, John Fitzgerald Gates, who a few of the Board members met when he came up for the new trustee orientation and who will join us all tomorrow after he finishes his commencement duties at NYU, where he is the “voice” of the main ceremony and of several of the college and school diploma ceremonies. Meanwhile, we think we are closing in on the appointments of two key officers of administration, a new Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School and a new Vice President for Finance and Administration. Both will be external appointments, and we think we will have announcements on both of them by the end of this month.

So it has been, as they say, a rich full year. I’ll simply close by saying that Rachel and I are deeply moved by the warmth of the welcome and the depth of support that we have enjoyed from all members of the community, on the campus and beyond. We want to thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and your own good work for the advancement of our beloved University.

* * * * * * *

Here is the list of retiring faculty whose hard work, dedication, and innumerable contributions to the University, to their students, and to their disciplines we wish to acknowledge, with profound gratitude:

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (5)

1. Paula Fives-Taylor, Professor Emerita, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (joint appointment with College of Medicine)
2. Alan B. Gotlieb, Extension Professor Emeritus, Plant and Soil Science
3. David L. Rogers, Lecturer Emeritus, Animal Sciences
4. Elizabeth Scannell Trent, Extension Associate Professor Emerita, Community Development and Applied Economics
5. Warren I. Schaeffer, Professor Emeritus, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (joint appointment with College of Medicine)

College of Arts & Sciences (23)

6. Grant Crichfield, Associate Professor Emeritus, Romance Languages
7. Bill Davison, Professor Emeritus, Art
8. Barry Lee Doolan, Associate Professor Emeritus, Geology
9. John C. Drake, Associate Professor Emeritus, Geology
10. Carolyn M. Elliott, Professor Emerita, Political Science
11. Paul Anderson Eschholz, Professor Emeritus, English
12. Alfred P. Fengler, Associate Professor Emeritus, Sociology
13. Christie Fengler-Stephany, Associate Professor Emerita, Art
14. Ted B. Flanagan, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry
15. Larry R. Gordon, Professor Emeritus, Psychology
16. Bernd Heinrich, Professor Emeritus, Biology
17. Patrick H. Hutton, Professor Emeritus, History
18. Herbert L. Leff, Associate Professor Emeritus, Psychology
19. Edwin Owre, Professor Emeritus, Art
20. Alfred Rosa, Professor Emeritus, English
21. James C. Rosen, Professor Emeritus, Psychology,
22. William Murrell Schenk, Professor Emeritus, Theatre
23. Henry J. Steffens, Professor Emeritus, History
24. William A. Stephany, Professor Emeritus, English
25. Michael J. Strauss, Professor Emeritus, Chemistry
26. Richard Sweterlitsch, Associate Professor Emeritus, English
27. Lee Briscoe Thompson, Professor Emerita, English
28. Edward S. Twardy, Associate Professor Emeritus, Public Administration

School of Business Administration (1)

29. Ronald Savitt, Professor Emeritus, Business Administration

College of Education and Social Services (1)

30. Rosalind E. Andreas, Assistant Professor Emerita, Education

College of Engineering and Mathematics (5)

31. Richard G. Absher, Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering
32. Roger Cooke, Professor Emeritus, Mathematics
33. Jan E.H. Johansson, Lecturer Emeritus, Mathematics
34. Branimir F. von Turkovich, Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering
35. James P. Olson, Associate Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineer-ing

College of Medicine (6)

36. Edward Stanley Emery III, Professor Emeritus, Neurology and Pediatrics
37. Paula Fives-Taylor, Professor Emerita, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (joint appointment with College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)
38. John J. McCormack, Professor Emeritus, Pharmacology
39. David Bogart Pilcher, Professor Emeritus, Surgery
40. Alan Rubin, Assistant Professor of Medicine Emeritus—no recognition in 2003
41. Warren I. Schaeffer, Professor Emeritus, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (joint appointment with College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

School of Natural Resources

No retirees this year.

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

No retirees this year.

University Libraries

No retirees this year.

UVM Extension (3)

42. Linda Diane Aines, Extension Associate Professor Emerita, Extension Service
43. Mary C. Carlson, Extension Assistant Professor Emerita, Extension Service
44. Lois M. Frey, Extension Associate Professor Emerita, Extension Service

Last modified June 03 2003 11:29 AM