University of Vermont

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees, Chair's Report

David A. Daigle
UVM Board of Trustees Chair’s Report
May 19, 2017

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our annual commencement weekend board meeting.  As another academic year draws to a close, we gather this weekend to celebrate the accomplishments of more than three thousand graduating catamounts, to shine a bright light on the accomplishments of the UVM class of 2017.  We hope that you will join us to make this a memorable weekend for our students and guests.

On behalf of our board, I want to express a sincere thank you to all of the UVM faculty and staff who helped another class achieve their goals and aspirations.  You were the architects of their UVM experience.

I would also like to thank everyone in the UVM community who has participated in President Sullivan’s fifth year comprehensive review.  Our consultant, Carol Cartwright, has completed an impressive schedule of interviews, meeting with dozens of you.  She reports that you have been engaged and open in the interviews, which is precisely what this exercise requires.  Carol will be meeting with the review committee over the summer, and will report to the full board at our retreat in September.

Next, I would like to introduce our newest trustees, Caitlyn McHugh, who was with us in February but is now official, Joey Donovan, John Bartholomew, and Shap Smith.  They joined our board in March, and we want to publicly welcome and thank them.

What has changed at UVM since the class of 2017 arrived on campus four years ago?  There have been many advances, including these five:

  • The number of endowed faculty positions has more than doubled; nearly one in ten of our faculty are now supported by this perpetual financial foundation.  If we expect to meet our aspirational goals of advancing academic quality for the benefit of our students, we must have the ability to attract and retain talented faculty; philanthropic support will be vital.
  • The medical center rebranded, from Fletcher Allen Health Care to the University of Vermont Medical Center.  One might say this was a twenty year effort, as the rebranding was considered when Fanny Allen and Fletcher Hospital merged in 1995 (it was rejected by UVM).  After three years with the new brand, the benefits to both UVM and the medical center are clearly evident, and our partnership is as strong as ever.
  • The UVM Foundation has secured financial commitments from donors of in excess of $330 million.  In just four years.  For perspective, the total endowment was approximately $350 million four years ago.  From the Larner College of Medicine, to the Grossman School of Business, to the Gund Institute for Environment, we are using these funds to enhance academic programs across the entire University.
  • We commenced major upgrades to our central campus facilities.  These upgrades will profoundly reshape the student experience at UVM for decades to come.  Unquestionably, they will improve UVM’s ability to compete for talented students.
  • We have opened a spectacular new Alumni house that will serve as a magnet for our alumni for generations to come.  More than ever, we need to nurture that bond with graduating catamounts, so that they may become the future volunteers, advocates, and donors that will enable UVM to sustain its efforts.

Notwithstanding our accomplishments, we find ourselves in a very dynamic higher education ecosystem.  The world does not stand still as we make improvements at UVM.  We will need to continue to work together to secure our funding sources, prioritize our investments, and make measurable progress on our academic goals.  Working as one UVM, I remain confident in our future.

This concludes my chair’s report.

Last modified October 21 2017 09:39 AM