The Latest from Burlington
to the Future
Trustees endorse the numbers behind the vision
The plan for UVMs next decade is boldnearly a half-billion
dollars in new and improved buildings and residence halls, 2,700 additional
undergraduate and graduate students, a phalanx of new professors
but is it practical? Does the Universitys wallet match its will?
An exhaustive examination recently completed by a multinational accounting
firm says yes: the vision for the University of Vermont that President
Daniel Mark Fogel initially proposed in February 2003 is not only practical,
it is necessary. Projecting the financial status quo a decade into the
future yields mounting red ink and a slow withering of the institutions
promise; carefully managed growth offers the surpluses necessary to attract
the great students and innovative teachers and researchers who can extend
the Universitys prestige and promise.
PricewaterhouseCoopers presented the results of its independent financial
feasibility study of the Universitys growth-oriented vision and
the strategic financial plan that supports it to trustees at the boards
May meeting. Trustees had already enthusiastically endorsed the plan,
but before moving ahead with full implementation of the program, the group
asked for an in-depth look at the financial realities that would drive
the aspiration. The strategy calls for $475 million in capital investments
by 2013 and proposes increasing research and tuition revenues by adding
additional students and faculty. In concluding that the plan is feasible,
the PwC study analyzed factors ranging from the student growth proposal
to the construction of a proposed $70 million student commons to the addition
of new facilities on- and off-campus supporting research in the life sciences
With the right project management, its definitely achievable,
said consultant Michael McGuire. Its a bold plan, but I think
Within the report presented to trustees, PwC analysts wrote, The
strategic vision and goals of UVMs ten-year plan appears logical
and well thought-out. The plan defines at a high level a strategic direction
we have seen taken by other quality academic institutions.
After considering PwCs report and subsequent discussion, trustees
unanimously supported a resolution authorizing the University to begin
implementing the vision. Some eighty seconds of applause followed the
milestone vote. The resolution supports the plan and its financial details
in principle, while requiring board approval for each of the proposed
capital projects and setting a schedule and process for monitoring the
plan as it unfolds.
When the board passed the resolution a year ago asking for a feasibility
study, said board chair James C. Pizzagalli, we didnt
imagine it would be this comprehensive and in-depth. It would have been
possible to deliver a much less comprehensive plan.
The rigorous report advises that while the plan makes good management
sense, it wont be easy to implement. Analysts noted that the pace
of change and size of growth outlined by the plan are ambitious and will
require aggressive oversight and careful monitoring of progress.
Having seen many institutions embark on new strategic directions,
we have found that success is dependent not only on the soundness of the
plan, but how carefully the implementation is managed, PwC reported.
Intensive diligence must be exercised in monitoring the plan, in
carefully phasing its execution, and in adjusting its implementation for
both sub-optimal performance on one or more parameters and for inevitably
In his opening comments to the board, Fogel stressed that the plan has
built-in flexibility to adapt to future challenges. It is a map
replete with alternate routes and lay-bys so that we can adapt to contingencies
and changing circumstances with course adjustments that will carry us
forward toward our destination and with changes in speed as required,
More detail on key aspects of the strategic financial plan follow. The
PwC report is available at http://www.uvm.edu/president.
Increasing undergraduate enrollment while maintaining or raising current
admissions standards is a key part of the plan, which forecasts 2,000
new undergraduate students by 2013. Graduate student enrollment growth
in the masters and especially doctoral programs is essential to
building UVMs reputation and perceived value. Projections call for
a 60 percent increase in graduate enrollments, about 700 more students.
Significant investment in new facilities and renovations are essential
to building enrollments in a highly competitive market, consultants and
University administrators agree. UVM is moving swiftly on several key
projects. Work began this summer on a new 800-bed residential complex
on the University Heights site and a full renovation of Living/Learning
is under way. The University Commons building, planned for Main Street
behind Morrill Hall, is designed to be a true crossroads of campus, creating
a central space where the academic, co-curricular, and social lives of
the UVM community come together. Trustees will likely consider a final
go-ahead on Commons plans at the September 2004 meetings.
Over the next ten years, the plan aims for $68 million of sponsored research
growth, a 58 percent increase. A major part of that growth would be driven
by 50 new research faculty in the College of Medicine.
Additional space to support the increased research capacity would be created
by building a new College of Agriculture and Life Sciences facility on
campus. The current budget model also assumes increasing the College of
Medicines research presence in Colchester, where the University
could exercise the option to purchase leased space and expand a satellite
A major goal of the current Campaign for the University of Vermont is
building UVMs private support, funding initiatives critical to the
plan scholarships, in particular. Scholarships are key because
the financial strategy relies on steady, high-quality enrollment growth,
which in turn depends on operating and endowment gifts for financial aid.
This aid will allow UVM to attract the most talented high school students
while keeping the University accessible to families of modest means. Private
scholarship support, according to Fogel, is absolutely essential to achieving
the plans goal of ever-greater academic quality.
Frances Carr, vice president of research and dean of the Graduate College,
says the new Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies is a natural fit
with the mission of a public university. The UVM-based center promises
to foster the success of new high-growth, high-technology firms in Vermont,
and is expected to play a crucial role in diversifying the states
economy and potentially bringing revenue to the University. Federal and
state funding, strongly advocated for by Sen. Patrick Leahy and Gov. James
Douglas, have been key to getting the center rolling.
Q. Why is the Vermont Center for Emerging
Technologies good news for the state and its business community?
A. VCET provides opportunity and support
for tech transfer, basically for patent opportunities, and for establishing
relationships with private companies who may need the support systems
of the University such as access to equipment.
I think its important to note that the federal government recognizes
the importance of these kinds of partnerships for economic development.
Its an important piece because there are those associated with universities
and in the community in general, that say, well, thats not
the role of universities. Yes, it is. The federal government has
recognized that since the 1980 establishment of the Bayh-Dole Act. Research
is for the public good. Its public money that funded the research,
therefore, theres an obligation to ensure that the results of the
research are applied. It is part of the role of public research institutions
the mission of the land grant for sure to ensure that we
are able to improve the lives in the community in which we live. This
is a different mechanism by which we do it, thats all.
Q. What sorts of research are most likely
to come to market through this process?
A. When you think of the breadth of inventions
coming from faculty, we have a lot of important research being conducted
that is appropriate for the incubator. Micro-strain technologies and the
kits associated with diagnostics are more in keeping with the kind of
incubator that well have here. We expect to see technologies in
particular emerging from engineering partnerships with the life sciences
or the environmental sciences. Devices that would monitor changes in the
stress related to bridges, for example. Medical technology. Platform-based
diagnostics would be a really exciting opportunity for us, as well. Fields
where the creativity and the innovation is happening at the intersection
of engineering, life sciences, and the natural sciences.
Q. How has the faculty responded to the idea
of VCET and collaborating more with the private sector?
A. The overall sense is that there has been
a desire to move in this direction for quite some time. You can see that
by talking with some faculty who went out and started their own companies
and did their own patenting. In addition to all of the other benefits,
it provides us with new opportunities to think about how were providing
an educational foundation for undergraduate and graduate students.
by Andy Duback
As music major Viktorija Knezevic 04 selected pieces for her senior
piano recital, Sergei Prokofiev was a natural choice. The Russian master
is her favorite composer, and because of Knezevics own personal
experience with the harsh reality of war and displacement as a Bosnian
refugee, an artist she is especially suited to understanding and interpreting.
Paul Orgel, an adjunct faculty member in UVMs Music Department,
has worked extensively with Knezevic during her years at the University.
Her graduation recital, which included Prokofievs Piano Sonata No.
4 in C Minor, was an outstanding performance that Orgel calls the best
he has ever heard at UVM. To hear both teacher and student describe it,
Knezevics technical skills were strong when she began study with
Orgel, but she lacked expression. I think Viktorija has moved from
a very mechanical and somewhat stiff approach to a more thoughtful, artistic
way of looking at music, Orgel says.
For her part, Knezevic says she recently listened to a tape of a performance
made near the end of her years in Germany, where her family lived from
the 1991 outbreak of war in Bosnia until their 1999 relocation to the
United States. It sounds like Im too scared to give anything,
she says and credits Orgel for helping her to improve in this critical
dimension. Paul tells me, You dont have to be scared.
Give yourself. That is how you make music. I am not afraid to be
what I am, and thats a great feeling.
But Orgel also subscribes to the truism that making great music is 10
percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. From the day he met her,
Knezevic knew the importance of long periods of focused practice. On a
fairly typical recent day, Knezevic put in eight hours at her job at the
Clarion Hotel followed by a 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. practice session in a
tiny Southwick Building practice room. Some people like to read
for hours and hours, I like to practice, she says, shrugging.
Next stop for Knezevic is the New England Conservatory in Boston, where
shell continue the musical journey that began at age six, years
and worlds away in Bosnia.
Im not saying the University is perfect. But its electric
these days. Theres an energy, and a pride, Ive never seen
before. I know some of the people I work with are going to ride me mercilessly
for using a sentimental word like pride, but I dont
care if sentiment for the institution is a crime, then let me be
Professor Philip Baruth in an April Vermont Public Radio commentary titled
UVM is Back.
Alums elect Bryan 2004 Kidder winner
Frank Bryan estimates there are some 40 to 50 footnotes citing the contributions
of students in his recent book, Real Democracy: The New England Town
Meeting and How it Works. Passing out credit where it is due is a
natural part of the Bryan ethos, and his former students returned the
favor when they selected him for the Alumni Associations 2004 George
V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching.
Over nearly three decades, Bryan has examined the democratic tradition
of town meeting and has taken students along for the ride. He guesses
that roughly 4,000 of his students have spent a first Tuesday in March
observing and reporting on the proceedings in a Vermont town hall. In
an interview in the Fall 2003 issue of Vermont Quarterly, Bryan said:
Whenever I meet a student I havent seen in 20 years, Ill
ask them where they went to town meeting, and theyll always remember,
and then theyll tell me a story about it. Im proud as hell
of that fact. So, they really learned something about democracy and the
academic world both. Theres nothing like putting a kid right in
the middle of it.
Thanks to Bryans influence, many of those students found their way
to a political science major, a masters degree in public administration,
or a career in politics or government.
Ann Hallowell 85 G89 was a self-described middle-aged,
nontraditional freshman when she took Bryans American Government
101 class. It was to be an experience that changed the direction
of my life to this day, Hallowell says. I went from someone
just taking classes to a serious student, focused, challenged,
and enriched by what I was learning from a remarkable teacher. Hallowells
subsequent political career included serving as a city councilor in Burlington
and in the Vermont Senate. Throughout all these years, the professor
and I debated the issues and even when we didnt agree, he always
encouraged me, she says.
Nick Warner 83 G93, who works in the City of Burlingtons
Community and Economic Development Office, cites the lasting impact of
Bryans Mom lecture, in which the professor peels back
all the layers of government he navigated to provide services for his
elderly mother. Warner says the talk should be required for all public
employees. Professor Bryan doesnt let us forget that all
politics are local, and that the value of working with our hands,
minds, and souls should not be lost in the confusing systems we live in.
See Vermont Quarterly online, http://www.uvm.edu/%7Euvmpr/vq/vqfall03/frank.html,
for an interview with Professor Bryan (Fall 2003 issue) and a reprint
of a past profile posted with the current issue.
Site traces Vermont views
Paul Bierman swivels his PowerBook around to offer a window on Vermonts
evolving landscape, specifically the village of Vershire in 1897. The
stark photo on the geology professors computer screen is one of
his favorites, a hardscrabble New England hill farm that in Biermans
eyes stands out for its illustration of human impact on landscape change.
Its a great teaching tool and ever the teacher, Bierman points out
the stone walls, the roads, the sawmill, the dam, and the steep slope
in the back pasture where clear cutting has been followed by inevitable
The Vershire photo is one of many on the Vermont Landscape Change Program
Web site, a rich digital resource that has recently taken a significant
step forward. With approximately 2,000 easily accessed images depicting
much of the state, anyone interested in Vermont history, landscape, geology,
or just interesting old photos, could easily click away hours on the site.
Beyond mere diversion, the archive is a significant resource for teaching
and research. Bierman initially saw the potential five years ago while
poring over thousands of UVM Special Collections images as he prepared
a presentation on human-landscape interaction. A $70,000 pilot grant,
which Bierman and co-investigator Christine Massey received from the National
Science Foundation, helped get the project started. Laura Mallard G00,
then a graduate student in geology, coordinated the initial effort by
involving high school students in seeking out historic photos and shooting
their own contemporary views of matching sites. Some 400 pairs of images
from that beginning form the core of the landscape archive.
With an unusual second round of NSF pilot funding, Bierman has worked
with Jens Hilke G03, a recent graduate of UVMs Field Naturalist
Program, to continue deepening the collection. Bierman says theyve
gone to a community-driven effort, hoping to draw people not only to view
the site, but also contribute to it. Its the richest way for
us to work on this, to mine all of those local town halls, historical
societies, and grandparents attics that are full of photos,
To view the Landscape Change Program digital archive, go to http://www.uvm.edu/perkins/landscape.
Undergraduate applications were up again this year, nearing record
levels. A total of 11,368 students applied for admission next fall, a
10 percent increase over last year. That marks the second highest total
in UVM history with numbers very near the peak levels of the late 1980s
public ivy era. Diversity in the applicant pool was also up
dramatically, with a nearly 30 percent increase in the number of applicants
identifying themselves as African American, Latino, Asian American, or
Native American. In May, 2,119 first-year students had made deposits for
the fall semester, with a record 160 ALANA students among them.
The University Scholar Awards Program, which recognizes faculty members
for sustained excellence in research and scholarly activities, has announced
winners for the 2004-2005 academic year. They are Richard Albertini,
research professor of pathology and medicine and professor emeritus of
microbiology and molecular genetics; Dwight Matthews, professor of medicine
and chemistry; Beth Mintz, professor of sociology; and David Scrase, professor
Alumni Dr. James Betts 69, MD 73 and John Snow 74,
and UVM parent Anne Dodge have been appointed to six-year terms
on the UVM Board of Trustees. They replace Milt Goggans 66, Bruce
Lisman 69, and Pam McDermott 73. Also joining the board are
student trustees Colin Robinson and Christine Hertz.
University Press of New England, a consortium of New England college
and university presses, has welcomed UVM as its newest member. Vermont
becomes the fifth member of the publishing group, joining Brandeis University,
Dartmouth College, University of New Hampshire, and Tufts University.
For more on these stories and other UVM news: http://www.uvm.edu/news.
7,400 square feet of vinyl siding
308 fluorescent fixtures
22 exit signs
71 tons of building materials
and more have been spared the landfill thanks to UVMs participation
in Recycle Norths construction materials re-use program during the
demolition of the ranch houses at University Heights. In recognition,
the Burlington organization presented UVMs Architectural and Engineering
Services with their annual Karen Taylor Reuse Award in April. New residence
halls will be built on the former University Heights site.
Jody Williams vibrates with moral authority and passion. But shes
an uncomfortable icon, quite willing to share her ambivalence about life
as a Nobelist. On April 13, returning to the campus where she earned a
psychology degree in 1972, the woman who won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize
for her role as the coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Land
Mines alluded to her personal story repeatedly to emphasize that regular
people can do remarkable things.
Williams graduated from UVM terrified, she says, with no marketable
skills after changing her major five times. I wanted to be everything
and nothing, she told her audience in Billings North Lounge.
A time of floundering ensued, a decade of odd jobs and secretarial
gigs and graduate degrees and purposeless despair. And then, as it does
in every conversion story, came the moment that changed everything.
She was handed a leaflet at a metro stop in Washington, D.C.: El
Salvador Another Vietnam? Williams was soon drawn into the
cause of working for peace in Latin America, growing into leadership roles
that would prepare her well for the job she would take on with landmines
What Williams and the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines have accomplished
is remarkable most of the world has given up a conventional weapon
that was universally used for 100 years a first in human history.
The work goes on, and Williams still spends most of her time on it, but
her role has changed. Not necessarily, she says, for the better.
The Nobel? Big deal. Sure, it helps. It made my parents very proud,
they can finally explain what I do
. But it only mattered then. What
matters now is what I do next, she says.
prize, I had five years of hell
I couldnt be the coordinator
of the campaign any more, I had to be a talking head.
All the talking, the endless requests to, as she says, opine on
every human rights issue in the world whether she knows anything
about it or not, is difficult for an introvert more comfortable with action
than words. But she has come to at least partially embrace it. She speaks,
she says, to inspire, to prod one person to go out and do more than
Ive done at every talk.
Im tired of hearing people complain. Emotion without action
is absolutely a waste of time
If you care enough to complain, volunteer
for one hour a week, she says. If that doesnt fit into
your schedule, one hour a month.
was invited to campus for her Mark L. Rosen Memorial Lecture by Distinguished
Visiting Professor of Political Science Madeleine Kunin, a former Vermont
Federal funding key to environmental and agricultural research
Environmental and agricultural research, two UVM strengths that are critically
linked to Vermonts future, recently received a boost with the announcement
of significant federal funding for next year. U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords
has secured fiscal 2004 federal appropriations totaling $1.6 million in
support of six diverse research initiatives at the University. Jeffords
and UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel shared the podium at a May 3 press
conference on campus.
research efforts find solutions to problems that allow all of us to lead
more healthy and productive lives. This is such an important role for
a university to play, Jeffords said. Financial support of
research is critical to the health of our forests, our lakes, our agricultural
crops, and our food supply.
Research is the lifeblood of the University, said Fogel. We
are very grateful to Senator Jeffords for his support of this vital function
and for his tireless work on our behalf. Advancing knowledge in environmental
and agriculture sciences and applying that knowledge in the real
world are critical to Vermonts well being and to that of
the nation and the world.
The appropriation will support two ongoing research projects in the Rubenstein
School of Environment and Natural Resources and four in the College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences. A glimpse of the six initiatives follows.
Rubenstein School research over the last five years has yielded key insights
into the mechanisms by which acid rain damages trees. Researchers Donald
DeHayes, Paul Schaberg, Gary Hawley, and Tim Perkins have shown that acid
rain attacks trees immune systems curbing their ability to
survive even normal stress like droughts, extreme cold, and common forms
of disease and is far more damaging to red spruce and, potentially,
to other tree species like white pine and sugar maple, than is apparent
on the surface.
Americas Neighborhoods for Storm Water Management, a Rubenstein
School project, focuses on storm water management issues that are the
consequence of rapid development in South Burlington, a community that
is representative of New England sprawl development. As one
of the first comprehensive research projects to compare treatments over
time in the same stream, the studys conclusions should generate
great interest among policy makers.
Researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department
of Nutrition and Food Sciences led by Mingruo Guo will continue their
work finding new applications for whey, a by-product of cheese-making.
New work, in partnership with entomologist Bruce Parker of the Department
of Plant and Soil Sciences, will concentrate on an organic whey-based
insecticide that incorporates naturally occurring insect-killing fungi.
Maple Flavor Timothy Perkins of the Department of Botany will lead a group
seeking to identify the types and causes of off-flavors in maple syrup
as the first step towards developing a mechanism to reduce or eliminate
their formation. Off-flavors, which usually develop during the boiling
process, affected 25 percent of Vermonts maple syrup crop in 2003.
A research team led by Catherine Donnelly in the Department of Nutrition
and Food Sciences is inquiring into the natural barriers to pathogen development
that occur in the production of raw milk cheese. The results will help
inform the national debate over the safety of aged cheeses made from unpasteurized
milk, like cheddar, swiss, gruyere, and camembert.
A constructed wetlands project, managed by Aleksandra Drizo in the Plant
and Soil Sciences Department, provides an innovative alternative system
for treating agricultural runoff. A prototype of the wetlands system,
located at UVMs Paul Miller Research Center on Spear Street, is
well on its way to becoming a model that dairy farmers in a northern climate
can use to handle run-off.
for a small planet
New text takes on a different set of questions
Picture homo economicus, that most rational of utility maximizers, strutting
off to purchase a larger-screen television to replace his large-screen
model. Is this the perpetual consumption of ever-increasing amounts
of market goods the whole story? Or can economics tell us more
about the world?
Of course, says Josh Farley, a classically trained economist and assistant
professor of Community Development and Applied Economics. His new 488-page
textbook, Ecological Economics (Island Press), which he wrote with eminent
University of Maryland Professor Herman Daly, is the first introductory
text to fully take on the emerging disciplines theory and practice.
In that, its a radical departure from conventional economics.
It starts from a completely different set of questions. The first
question you have to ask is, whats the desirable end? Farley
says. Mainstream economics assumes that the desirable end is consumption.
Ecological economics takes a longer, broader view. Consumption is fine,
but what about clean air and water, an intact ozone layer, open spaces,
wildlife, and social justice? Farley describes the field as looking at
how we live on a finite planet, borrowing tools from conventional
economics when appropriate, but also delving into philosophy, ecology,
psychology, and other fields.
Its an interlocking set of practices rather than a unified theory,
and as such, it can be difficult to pin down, especially for textbook
authors. Instead of following the ritual pattern of a microeconomics text,
moving from supply and demand to efficiencies to property rights, Daly
and Farleys book breaks roughly into sections examining the interrelated
questions of scale, distribution, and efficiency from an ecological perspective.
Feedback from the external reviewers has been good (with the partial exception
of two old-school economists), and the book is being adopted
in upper-division and graduate courses nationwide.
While the book occasionally twits conventional economics Herman
has some pretty good zingers, says Farley it offers a sound
explanation of basic typical economic concepts before expanding them.
A conventional econ text, Farley says, might have two pages about public
goods; his has 100. Another theme in Daly and Farleys textbook is
diminishing marginal utility.
Consumption goes up, and up, and up, Farley says. How
much more do we need? Were getting diminishing marginal utility
from market goods, even as we wipe out the ozone layer, the wetlands
Farley hopes that the work will help students learn the skills that ecological
economists apply to those kinds of paradoxes, the contradictions caused
when market forces collide with the natural world.
By David Huddle
Louisiana State University Press
Grayscale is the fifth volume of poetry from Professor David Huddle, who
has taught writing at UVM for more than thirty years. His is a hard-won
simplicity of phrasing, and it produces touchingly gentle, stubbornly
frank poems . . . fully adult poems, wrote critic Ron Smith.
Nature, Culture, and Big Old Trees
By Kit Anderson 76 G81
University of Texas Press
The relationship between people and trees in particular, the live
oaks of Louisiana and the ceibas of Guatemala is the focus of alumna
Kit Andersons new book. The volume is the product of extensive travel
in both regions, where the ethnobotanist photographed landmark trees and
collected stories of their history and symbolism.
Duty and Character
By Jeff Freeman 68
Alumnus Jeff Freeman rose from private to colonel over the course of a
32-year career in the Army and Army Reserve. Some ten years of Freemans
military career was spent in Washington, D.C., and he filters that experience
through the lens of fiction in Duty and Character.
Italian Through Film
By Antonello Borra and Cristina Pausini
Yale University Press
Antonello Borra, an assistant professor of Italian at UVM, and his co-author
Pausini, who teaches at Wellesley College, offer up a cinematic way to
learn the language. Chapters are structured around ten different Italian
films, fostering a deeper understanding of both language and culture.