University of Vermont

A Note from President Tom Sullivan

March 2016

UVM is very fortunate to have such a strongly professional and dedicated core of staff members in every department supporting the forward momentum of this great University.


A critical element of striving for excellence is an effective and efficient performance management and appraisal system. A useful performance management system sets clear goals, organizes departmental priorities, and encourages proactive employee development. When it is well thought out, this process serves not only the purpose of reviewing performance, but it also provides the opportunity to contemplate the question: “What are some initiatives we can put in place to make you better at what you do, to make you more effective and efficient in the position you’re in?”


A good performance management process helps staff members to develop professionally, to grow their skills, and – if appropriate – to develop the skillset to seek other opportunities at the University.


An important driver of excellence is a reward system tied to performance, a system that acknowledges staff members’ contributions not just with across-the-board increases but also with merit pay based on accomplishment. This has been a critical piece of my compensation strategy since taking on the presidency here at UVM. Some years the performance reward has been able to be more generous than in other years, but I continue to believe in the initiative of tying some element of the yearly pay raise to performance – to reward those people who go above and beyond the expected markers for success and really strive for excellence. A good performance management system contributes to and rewards that.


Later this semester each department will engage in performance reviews. Now is a great time to identify your professional goals and career aspirations, and to begin seeking opportunities for taking the next step in your professional development that you can discuss with your supervisor. The University offers several great pathways for professional development, including the upcoming edu@uvm on March 8, 9, and 10. You might also look at training and professional development opportunities around the area.


At its foundation, a great university is comprised of the people at all levels of academics and operations who dedicate their time and energies to providing an exceptional experience to our students. We all have opportunities to grow and develop in our roles in ways that we can direct, and that will continue to enrich our work and enhance the environment here at our great University.


Thank you for all you do for UVM. By working together and supporting each other, our University is a better place for everyone in our UVM community.