University of Vermont

The 27th President of the University of Vermont

Members of the University of Vermont Community:

By now you have likely learned of President Tom Sullivan’s plans to step down from his position effective summer 2019.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I offer my profound gratitude to Tom Sullivan for all that has been accomplished during his time as President, and express our deepest appreciation to Leslie Sullivan for all her efforts on behalf of the University of Vermont—her alma mater.  I also want to share some preliminary plans regarding the Presidential transition.

Let me first turn to the subject of Tom Sullivan and the direction, vision, and forward momentum he has provided our University for the past six years and will continue to provide for the remainder of his presidency.  In 2012 the UVM Board of Trustees sought a president that could lead our community on a mission to improve the academic and financial profile of UVM.  President Sullivan has succeeded in this mission, and our entire community owes him a debt of gratitude for his selfless service to UVM.

President Sullivan has led with a passion for students and higher education, with reasoned and thoughtful decision-making, and with unwavering integrity.  Our University is unequivocally stronger as a result of his efforts and accomplishments.  From the success of our capital campaign, to the progress achieved on our major academic initiatives, to the positive transformation of our physical campus, we have made tremendous and lasting progress in advancing UVM’s mission under President Sullivan’s leadership.

Academic Accomplishments

  • Record applications in recent years

  • Progress on all major academic goals, including selectivity, retention, four-year graduation rates, diversity, advising, and internationalization

  • Establishment of the Wellness Environment program, with 1,200 active students

  • Establishment of a new first-year student engagement program, including integrated career counseling and new residential learning communities

  • Significant expansion of online and summer academic offerings and enrollment

  • Increases in research grants and support

  • New agreements with the Medical Center, including a rebranding of the University of Vermont Medical Center

Financial Accomplishments

  • Successful $500 million + comprehensive capital campaign, raising $78 million for scholarships, $63 million for endowed faculty positions, $64 million for facilities, and $295 million for academic programs

  • Growth in UVM’s endowment from approximately $300 million to $550 million

  • Sustained lowest tuition increases in over four decades

  • Successful implementation of a new incentive-based budget model

Physical Facility Transformation

  • New facilities including the STEM complex buildings, a new first-year residence hall, Ifshin Hall, Virtue Field, Alumni House and Silver Pavilion, and the UVM Rescue building

  • Substantial improvements and renovations for Votey Hall, Kalkin Hall, Billings Library, Cohen Hall for the Integrative Creative Arts, Royal Tyler Theater, Miller Research Facility, and the Vermont Research Lab and Research Facility

Looking ahead, it is important that we position ourselves for a seamless transition of Presidential leadership.  I am pleased that Tom Sullivan will continue as President until his successor is in place, which will allow us to execute a comprehensive national search.  Our Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring a thorough, inclusive, and transparent search process.  In coming weeks, with input from governance leaders across the University, I will appoint a Presidential Search Committee.  We will provide the UVM community with periodic updates on the search process, with the ultimate goal of announcing a successor by March, 2019.

In closing, I want to again thank Tom and Leslie for all they have done, and will continue to do, for the University of Vermont.  I also want to thank the entire UVM community for your ongoing commitment to advancing our mission.  As Board Chair, I am proud of what we have accomplished, and enthusiastic about what we can achieve in the future by working together.

David Daigle
Chair, UVM Board of Trustees


Last modified August 18 2018 02:37 PM

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