Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
The launch of the Vermont State University (VTSU) on July 1 is the most important move forward for the future of the Vermont State Colleges System – possibly since its founding. We are on the doorstep of achieving unification of our state colleges to meet the needs of today’s learners and chart a path to financial sustainability that has long eluded the system.
In order to achieve this grand vision, we have worked tirelessly for three years to trim expenses, make critical investments in modern systems, and streamline our academic programs. We knew this work would be difficult – in fact, none of this work is simple or easy. I know that many of you have given hours and hours of your time and expertise to develop plans for this transformation and are committed to seeing Vermont State University succeed.
Dr. Parwinder Grewal has tendered his resignation and is stepping down effective immediately for personal reasons. We are grateful to Dr. Grewal for taking on the role of President last year. Dr. Grewal brought his skills and expertise from a similar higher education unification at this important time, and we appreciate his service.
We are pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has named former Vermont Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith to serve as Interim President. He will begin next week for a term of approximately six-months and will be focusing all efforts on the successful launch of Vermont State University. For the short period of time until Interim President Smith officially starts, the Board has named Vice President of Business Operations Sarah Truckle as the acting President.
Interim President Smith comes to Vermont State University after a long career in public service, most recently from state government where he was a critical player in the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response. He served in the U.S. Navy, in the Vermont House of Representatives, and as Secretary of the Agency of Administration, as well as time in the private sector.
The Board of Trustees and I have asked Interim President Smith to pause implementation of the proposed initiatives around athletics and the libraries, pending development of a comprehensive set of recommendations for continued transformation work in the coming weeks. More information will be shared when that work is complete. The goal is for Interim President Smith to have time to evaluate and engage stakeholders as we work to trim expenses to meet our legislative mandate.
There is much more to do to prepare for the successful launch of Vermont State University on July 1, 2023. Once launched, ongoing investments, modernization, and additional expense reductions will get the new university to a place of financial viability. Strong communications, engagement, and collaboration will be our ongoing focus.
Please join me in thanking Dr. Grewal for his service and in welcoming Interim President Smith.
Working together, we can show the generations of Vermonters who depend on the Vermont State Colleges to realize their education and professional goals that Vermont State University is a great choice in higher education.
With best wishes,
Sophie Zdatny, Chancellorchancellor@vsc.eduVermont State Colleges Office of the Chancellor P.O. Box 7, Montpelier, VT 05601