University of Vermont

A Note from President Tom Sullivan

As you may have noticed, much has been happening on campus, and there is seldom a dull moment at UVM. It’s been a lively couple of weeks hereabouts, as activist students and their allies press for structural changes to further address racial equality and justice here at UVM. Thank you for your steadfast attention to your roles and responsibilities during this time of raised voices, protests, and heightened awareness.

As the daylight slowly lengthens and we start seeing hints of another season’s change, we’re reminded that spring break is just around the corner, and with that comes edu@uvm. This important learning event, open to all staff across the University, provides a great opportunity for colleagues to share experience and knowledge, learn new skills, and gain fresh perspectives to support work and life. The three-day schedule, March 13–15, is packed with excellent offerings, and includes an ice cream social and resource fair. Register soon if you have not yet done so; registration closes on March 7th.

March 22 and 23 also brings the Blackboard Jungle Symposium, a signature opportunity for UVM faculty and staff to listen, learn, and engage together on issues related to diversity and inclusion. This year’s Blackboard Jungle—The University: A Sanctuary or an Arena? Fostering Inclusive and Difficulty Conversations—is particularly well focused, given recent campus events. Keynote speakers include John Quinones, Emmy-award-winning anchor of the ABC Series “What Would You Do?”; Columbia University Professor of Journalism and New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb; and Dr. OiYan Poon, Professor of Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University. Breakout sessions on Friday provide opportunities for in-depth discussions with colleagues across campus on critical topics related to identity, justice, and equality in the learning laboratory of the university. I hope you will bring your perspectives and your voice to the discussions at this year’s symposium.

My sincere thanks and high praise for all the ways that each one of you fosters a truly welcoming and respectful learning environment here at UVM, and for all that you do for our students and for our University.

With appreciation,

Tom Sullivan