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UVM In Brief
UVM Poised for New Leadership
A Letter From the Chair of the UVM Board of Trustees
Prof Credits Bush Team for Smooth Transition
Rare Washington Miniature in Collection
A State Dinner in Your Future?
Program Bridges Burlington & the Bronx
Even Better Than We Thought
Ag Researchers Discover Mastitis-FIghting Gene
XFL, UVM Mathematicians Make Unlikely Team
On-line Offerings Grow
He Made It!

UVM Poised for New Leadership
Following President Judith Ramaley’s February resignation, the University of Vermont Board of Trustees quickly began a search for an interim president and opened the longer process of selecting UVM’s next permanent president. Trustee Chair Bruce Lisman ’69 said, “I think the board is sending a very clear message that this campus is in full motion — not only in terms of the work associated with strategic change, but also with regard to the speed and determination with which we will identify strong, stable leadership.”

On February 9, Ramaley, UVM’s twenty-fourth president, submitted her resignation to the Board of Trustees. The action put an end to Ramaley’s four-year tenure, the last year of which had been difŠcult in light of the hockey hazing incident and cancelled season, a faculty union drive, a strategic action plan that continues to inspire campus debate, and a faculty “no conŠdence” petition regarding Ramaley that circulated campus in the weeks prior to her resignation.

UVM Board of Trustees Chair Bruce Lisman ’69 described the resignation as a mutual decision reached by Ramaley and the trustee leadership. “Over the course of the past year, the board came to believe that a change was necessary. We need leadership now that can inspire and unify the campus and its many constituents to the degree that a leader must when signiŠcant and necessary change is the goal,” Lisman wrote in a letter to the campus community. “Different points in an institution’s progression call for different leadership styles, and the board believed UVM had reached such a moment.”

In a statement released to the media, Ramaley said, “The job of university president is both difŠcult and taxing, and it is clear to me that the time has come for me to pursue other opportunities, particularly in the areas of educational policy, and civic and social responsibility. I have enjoyed my time at UVM and have, I hope, laid some solid groundwork for the future success of the institution.”

Noting progress made under President Ramaley’s leadership, Lisman said, “Relationships with the city of Burlington and the state of Vermont have been enhanced and solidiŠed; the foundation has been prepared to begin a major fundraising campaign; and a strategic plan identifying critical issues before the university has been developed.”

The Strategic Action Plan and its continued viability in the wake of Ramaley’s resignation was a key point of debate among many in the campus community as the university worked through the presidential transition in February.

The Board of Trustees stated Šrm support for the plan and emphasized the critical need that UVM continue to move forward with change and not be stalled by the leadership transition. In his opening comments at the Feb. 23 Board of Trustees meeting, Lisman said, “The community and the administration have vastly underestimated the board’s resolve for change along the pathway provided by the Strategic Plan.” He added, “Perfection is not possible, nor is complete agreement on a campus as eclectic as ours. Nonetheless, we have a plan that we agree to pursue, and it serves as a guidepost and a lifeline.”

The board designated Interim Provost Rebecca Martin as acting president until a replacement is named. Martin has been at UVM since 1990, primarily in the role of dean of libraries, and was appointed UVM’s chief learning and information ofŠcer in 1998. She was vice provost under Provost Geoffrey Gamble and moved into the interim provost role when Gamble left UVM to accept the presidency of Montana State University last fall.

At their Feb. 23-24 meetings on the UVM campus, trustees set in motion separate search processes for an interim president and a permanent president. Trustee Martha Heath will chair a committee of six trustees leading the interim presidential search, which is designed to bring shorter-term leadership to campus in the months ahead, allowing the board to conduct the longer search for a permanent president in a deliberate and fully inclusive manner. It is anticipated that an interim president will be selected by the end of the semester. The permanent presidential search could range from one- to two-years.

UVM’s Strategic Action Plan is available on the Web at www.uvm.edu/administration/ or by request from the Communications OfŠce at (802) 656-2005. To offer input on UVM’s presidential search, contact the UVM Board of Trustees via president.search@uvm.edu.

A Letter From the Chair of the UVM Board of Trustees
Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends of UVM:

The events of the last two months have been difficult and at times painful. Changing leadership is never easy and hardly ever without regret. It has been difficult, but was necessary for our well-being. We have the opportunity now to find the right leadership so that we may fully realize our true potential.

The University of Vermont is special to us all. It is as much a state of mind as it is in a state we love. UVM deserves a future that is vibrant; one that places students and faculty at the heart of who we are. We are poised to move forward. Our Strategic Action Plan identifies fundamental challenges and their solutions. We must build a sustainable financial foundation; we must recruit and retain a student group that makes us proud; we must have a faculty that can center our university; we must have a diverse campus to reflect the world we live in; and, we must focus our course and program offerings.

The board and the UVM community are resolved to see the leadership transition through in a way that does not slow our progress on the path of constructive and positive change. The challenge before UVM’s next leader is to help define the strategic plan and to support actions that lead to achievement.

I am a Class of 1969 alumnus, a member of an extended family that boasts twenty-two UVM alumni, and a Burlington native. I know now, with a different perspective, how wonderful the University of Vermont really is. You should know that, regardless of transition issues, UVM’s core mission — teaching, research, and service to society — is being met with excellence.
We can, with your help and support, meet the challenges facing our university. We will emerge from this a stronger and more effective institution. You will be proud.


Bruce Lisman ’69
Chair, UVM Board of Trustees

Prof Credits Bush Team for Smooth Transition
Despite the furor over chads and recounts, George W. Bush’s transition into the Oval OfŠce “was a bit of a disappointment,” says John P. Burke, admittedly half in jest. “At least on the surface,” says the presidential scholar and political science professor, “it put to rest the conventionally-held belief that the Šrst Tuesday in No-vember through inauguration day provides barely enough time for a president-elect to take the steps to assume ofŠce effectively.”
To counter the unusual delay from candidate to president, “Bush made early staff appointments that allowed his administration to hit the ground running,” says Burke, who has published analyses of presidential transitions from FDR through Clinton. Burke’s most recent book, Presidential Transitions: From Politics to Practice, was among the tomes scoured by Bush’s personnel and transition manager to help direct the hiring of a new administration.
“Bush moved far more quickly than former President Clinton in naming several critical appointments,” says Burke, whose expertise concerning how Bush might assume the mantle of the presidency was sought out by national media including the Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC, and MSNBC television.
While some political pundits criticized Bush for planning his transition before securing an ofŠcial victory, Burke explains that this has been a common practice for the past several administrations. With seven thousand positions to Šll — more than 1,100 requiring Senate
conŠrmation and nearly Šve hundred to comprise the core White House staff — “it’s not a task of flipping through a Rolodex or sorting résumés,” says Burke.
Prior to his January 20 inauguration, “the largest danger Bush faced was the perception that his administration would be Bush II, a retread,” claims Burke. But the younger Bush passed over many people close to Bush, Sr. “He has placed greater emphasis on allegiance to his agenda,” says Burke. At the same time, a few wisely picked White House insiders — especially Vice President Dick Cheney — will be invaluable assets.
Overall, he gives the new president high marks for managing a smooth transition. “Bush has assembled one of the most talented Cabinets and White House staffs in recent history,” Burke says, “and has done so with requisite speed, precision, and competence.”
However, he predicts the most important challenge for Bush is yet to come. “How he handles the Šrst unanticipated crisis,” Burke says, “will serve as the real test of his transition.”

A State Dinner in Your Future?
Well, maybe not, but it caught our eyes that a UVM alumna, Catherine Fenton ’76, will have a key role in putting together presidential fetes in her new position as White House social secretary.
Reporting Fenton’s appointment by First Lady Laura Bush, The New York Times online noted, “It is through her entertaining that a first lady can set the tone for an administration, and the social secretary pushes many of the levers. Jacqueline Kennedy brought elegance and classical music to the White House, and Mrs. Reagan reinstituted some of the glamour. Hillary Rodham Clinton brought in a Hollywood contingent and a wide cross-section of American society.”
The tone that Mrs. Bush sets will emerge over the course of the next year. As Fenton assists the first lady, she’ll bring a long Washington track record, having served as deputy social secretary for Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush, as well as three years as social secretary to the Japanese ambassador.

Rare Washington Miniature in Collection
America’s first President George was in the news recently when a miniature portrait of George Washington sold for $1.1 million at a Christie’s auction in New York City.
That sale caught the attention of staff at the Fleming Museum, as the UVM collection includes one of the four miniatures created by artist John Ramage when Washington sat for him in 1789. The portraits were a gift from Washington to his wife, Martha.
“The current excitement over the sale of the Ramage miniature portrait is a reminder of how many treasures the Fleming Museum’s permanent collection contains,” Fleming Director Ann Porter says. The Fleming’s portrait came to UVM in 1970 as part of a bequest from Hall Park McCullough, a lawyer and collector in North Bennington.
Porter notes that the Fleming’s Washington will be exhibited in the new European-American Gallery, on a rotating basis, with other 18th- and 19th-century miniatures in the year ahead.

Program Bridges Burlington & the Bronx
Jerry GarŠn, principal of New York City’s Christopher Columbus High
School wants his students
to know there’s a big world beyond the Bronx. “I want to open their eyes, to get them thinking past the limits of the neighborhood and the borough,” he says. GarŠn is particularly interested in having his students, who represent more than sixty ethnic groups, discover institutions of higher learning beyond the borders of the Bronx. It is a mission that UVM — through a multi-faceted partnership with the high school — is helping him deliver.
Since last April, UVM representatives have made
six trips to Columbus High, meeting with administrators, conducting workshops with students and parents on
the college application and Šnancial aid process and talking with faculty about the academic demands on Šrst-year students.
During the fall, UVM hosted GarŠn, several Columbus faculty members, and three groups of students from the high school, who visited students in their dorms, attended classes, and toured Burlington.
“There’s no doubt that we hope to attract some of these kids to UVM,” says Don Honeman, director of admissions and Šnancial aid, “but we’re approaching the partnership by informing students and families about what applying to and attending a college like UVM is all about.”

Even Better Than We Thought
Thanks to alumnus John Cunavelis ’51 for letting us know about quite a few top rankings Burlington has earned that we missed in the last issue.
A sampling:

Most Livable City in the United States (population under 100,000).
U.S. Conference of Mayors, 1988
Best Place in the nation for raising children.
Zero Population Growth, 1993

Number 4 of “America’s 10 Most Enlightened Towns.”
Utne Reader magazine, 1997
One of “15 Best Walking Cities in America.”
Walking magazine, 1998
One of “10 College Towns Worth a Visit.”
Princeton Review: The Best Colleges, 1999
And way back in July 1968, Harper’s Magazine cited Burlington as a working model for the ideal American city.

Ag Researchers Discover Mastitis-Fighting Gene
Researchers in UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have discovered a way to make animals resistant to staphylococcal mastitis, a scientiŠc breakthrough that promises to signiŠcantly improve animal health and potentially save the dairy industry millions of dollars.
“Our work has led to the world’s Šrst mastitis-resistant animals,” says Dean John Bramley, lead researcher. “Tests show the animals are perfectly normal, their milk supply is perfectly safe, and their offspring grow well.”
The key to this scientiŠc advancement, published in the January 2001 issue of Nature Biotechnology, is the cloning and modiŠcation of a gene that helps destroy bacterial cells that cause mastitis. The UVM gene has been used successfully in a collaborative effort with scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, who have produced mice that are resistant to mastitis. The USDA and Vermont scientists also are working with the UVM gene to produce a mastitis-resistant cow.
Mastitis is a painful inflammation of the mammary gland that costs the dairy industry $1.7 billion nationally, $30 million in Vermont. Infected animals produce less milk and the milk is of lower quality. Treatment often requires antibiotics, which are effective less than a third of the time.
Bramley’s work on mastitis-resistant animals began twelve years ago while he was working at the Institute for Animal Health in England. He put forth the idea that a naturally occurring protein, lysostaphin, would help kill bacteria that cause mastitis. At UVM, he teamed with David Kerr, assistant professor of animal sciences, and Karen Plaut, associate professor and chair of animal sciences, to make further advances. They changed the lysostaphin gene sequence so the protein would be manufactured directly, and only, by an animal’s mammary cells.
“The beauty of lysostaphin is that it only attacks the staphylococcal bacteria that cause mastitis. It has no impact whatsoever on other cells,” Bramley says.
Bob Wall, USDA research physiologist, is collaborating with the UVM scientists. “We have had this goal, since the technology became available, to improve milk production characteristics of farm animals to beneŠt the animal, the producer, and the consumer,” he says. “UVM has come up with the potential gene needed to do this.”

He Made It!
On December 16, 2000, Scott Rimm-Hewitt ’98 trekked the final two-tenths of a mile up Georgia’s Springer Mountain to complete his quest to hike the entire Appalachian Trail with his tuba along for the ride.
Rimm-Hewitt, profiled in the Winter 2001 issue of VQ, celebrated becoming the first tuba-toting AT through hiker in a fairly predictable fashion. The “Tuba Man” reports on his Web site that he hooked up with friends in Rome, Georgia where they “all went Christmas caroling through the neighborhood with the tuba to spread glad tidings. It’s an awesome feeling having just hiked 2,169 miles over 14 states in 169 days.”

XFL, UVM Mathematicians Make Unlikely Team
Combinatorial design, which allows mathematicians to construct and count all the possible ways a series of discrete objects can be conŠgured, has practical applications that range from cryptography to pharmaceutical trials. “It also happens to be ideal for putting sports schedules together,” says Jeff Dinitz, chair of the UVM Math Department and an expert in the Šeld.
That fact, and a bit of faculty chutzpah, set the stage for an unlikely collaboration between two UVM mathematicians and the XFL,
the World Wrestling Association’s new “in your face” professional football league.
The story begins with sports chat between Dinitz and colleague Dalibor Froncek, a visiting professor from the Czech Republic who also specializes in combinatorics. Froncek, like Dinitz an avid sports fan, has used combinatorial design to create schedules for the Czech national basketball and soccer leagues. Considering the start-up XFL, Froncek told Dinitz, “If they’re a new league, they don’t have a schedule.”
Combinatorics to the rescue. Dinitz dialed up the XFL out of the blue, was put in touch with senior manager Rich Rose, and essentially was hired for the scheduling job over the phone. Dinitz asked Rose if he at least wanted to see a résumé. “You’re a math professor. We trust you,” Rose said.
Coming up with the Šrst schedule was a straightforward matter. “We were dealing with some very manageable constraints. For instance, each team needed to play its divisional rivals twice, and there could be no more than three away games in a row,” Dinitz says. The professors created the Šrst schedule within a month.
Then the human factor, as Dinitz calls it, intervened. “As they got more into the reality of the situation, things kept coming up,” he says. Chicago needed to play its Šrst three games away, because of a big auto show that was going to tie up the stadium. San Jose had to be away for one game in the middle of the season. New York couldn’t play at home for its last game. Fourteen revisions later, with a schedule they called X5, the job was done.
“Jeff and Dalibor were great,” Rose says. “We fully plan on using them in 2002.”

On-line Offerings Grow
Whether you’re in Ireland, Aruba, or Long Island for the summer, you can still earn UVM credit thanks to on-line courses. UVM debuted Cyber Summer in 2000 and will expand that successful venture to a wider array of courses in 2001. For students who have plans to be elsewhere, but need to keep on pace with their college credit or alumni seeking a virtual return to the campus, Cyber Summer might be the answer. Check out what’s on-line for this summer at learn.uvm.edu/ap/focus/online.html.

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