On his first day on the job, new UVM president Suresh Garimella took time to meet with local and regional media during a late Monday morning session.
In brief opening remarks, Garimella said he was thrilled to take the helm at UVM, which he described as being in a “great place on an upward trajectory” that has benefitted from years of “stable leadership and great stewardship from the board.” He committed to “working tirelessly” to take the university to even greater heights.
Garimella cited student success, academic quality and affordability as among his top priorities.
While UVM faces a competitive landscape in higher education, especially in the Northeast, Garimella said the university's many assets would enable it to remain competitive and thrive. Among those assets -- in addition to its "impressive students, faculty and staff" -- he cited first rate programs in the liberal arts, STEM, medicine and health, agriculture and the environment, and in UVM’s professional schools.
He said he was drawn to UVM because of its academic reputation and the mystique of Vermont, but especially because of its status as a land grant institution.
Garimella said he is himself a product of a land grant university and benefited from gaining access to higher education at a price he and his family could afford.
“The fact that I am here – everyone should have that chance,” he said.