University of Vermont

Vermont Quarterly

UVM Board Launches a Long-Awaited Project, Honors a President

David Daigle thanks Tom and and Leslie Sullivan for their service to the university
Trustees honored the accomplishments of UVM president Tom Sullivan and Leslie Sullivan at the May board meeting, the president’s last before he steps down at the end of June after seven years in office. Board chair David Daigle read an appreciation resolution commemorating the couple’s accomplishments, which was framed and presented to them. (Photo: Sally McCay)

Culminating more than a decade of planning and many iterations of the project, the UVM Board of Trustees authorized $95 million for the university’s new Multipurpose Center and gave formal approval to break ground on the facility. A ceremonial groundbreaking took place on Saturday, and construction could begin as early as the week of May 20. See full story here.

Trustees also honored the accomplishments of President Tom Sullivan, who will step down at the end of June after seven years in office. To see the impact of his presidency, one only needs to look at the “transformative changes on central campus,” said Board chair David Daigle. “You have put us in a mode of ascendancy,” he said, as evidenced by the strong applicant pools in the recent presidential search and in recent searches for deans and other senior leaders. As a gesture of their appreciation, board members presented Sullivan with a reproduction Billings Library chair made of wood harvested at UVM’s Jericho Research Forest. The Board also presented Leslie Sullivan with an engraved vase filled with lilacs, one of her favorite flowers. To show their appreciation for the strong supporting role she has played, seven lilac bushes will be planted in her honor around campus. German professor Wolfgang Meider also read from the dedication in his newest book, which praises the leadership of the Sullivans, and made a gift of the book to them and to all trustees.

Other highlights of the Board’s May meeting, held Friday and Saturday of last week, include the following:

  • Shane Jacobson, UVM Foundation president and CEO, provided trustees with the good news that the university’s comprehensive campaign had far exceeded its goal of $500 million, clocking in at $573 million the day of his presentation. The UVM Foundation marked the occasion with a celebration on Friday night. It will formally close the campaign on June 30.
  • The Board approved modest tuition increases for undergraduates; from $15,936 to $16,392 for in-state students, and from $40,176 to $41,280 for out-of-state students. The Board also reviewed data showing UVM’s increases have been lower than increases at many of its comparator institutions in recent years. In addition, the data shows that after all gift aid is accounted for, the average net cost of attendance drops from $51,942 to $35,315 for out-of-state students, and from $28,878 to $17,303 for Vermont students.
  • The Educational Policy and Institutional Resources Committee approved the scope of the proposed new Larner College of Medicine Biomedical Research Building and referred the project to the Budget, Finance and Investment Committee for future financial review.

The full consent agenda is available here.

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