VSU prez recommends ending 10 programs

Vermont State University Interim President Mike Smith recommends discontinuing 10 programs at the newly merged school, according to a draft plan released on Tuesday.

Agriculture, forestry, school psychology, photography, and music are among the programs on the chopping block. According to a news release, the programs will be retained until current students graduate or leave the program.

Additionally, 13 other programs could be consolidated and 11 programs could switch campuses. VTSU officially came into being on July 1 merging the Vermont State College System campuses in Castleton, Randolph, Lyndon, Johnson, and Williston.

Affected faculty will be offered buyouts: “If there is sufficient uptake in the buyout program, layoffs may not be necessary. We anticipate $2.1-$3.35M in savings over the next two years as these changes are implemented. This is projected based on a reduction of direct expenditures by decreasing the number of full-time faculty by 20 to 33 positions out of the current 207.”

Final recommendations for optimization as well as plans for administrative reductions and efficiencies will be made by Oct. 31, according to a news release.

Gov. Scott said at his press conference yesterday that campus consolidation shouldn’t be necessary if state college authorities make good decisions. – Journal-Opinion

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5 replies »

  1. Ending the “agricultural program is a mistake. We need to be focusing on regional models for food supply that sustain their own populations, and need MORE young people to be interested in farming. As a professional photographer with a psychology degree, I can attest to the worthlessness of both of those programs at the college level however…. Psychology was a soft science when I got a bachelors in 2012 already. And the APA is just a total joke now.

  2. The rest of the story was in the Caledonia Record, yesterday. The VSU colleges lost $22M last fiscal year and this move is going to save “$2.1-$3.35M in savings over the next two years”? That translates to a $1 – $1.7M yearly cut into a $22M loss. In other words, barely a dent in the loss and certainly won’t stop the bleeding.

    Also in the story was the fact that over 50% of the courses have less than 10 students enrolled. I live a stone’s throw from the Lyndon campus and the place is like a ghost-town.
    Perhaps it is high-time that they consider closing the entire program or, at the vary least, have a single campus. The Lyndon campus has plenty of open dorm rooms. Finally, the other part of the plan that was not mentioned in the above article was that of “working through a shortterm infusion of bridge funding from the Vermont Legislature.” The “Legislature” isn’t going to pay for any “bridge funding” rather, we the tax payers, will be forced to pour more of our money into the ongoing losing venture. How ironic that those running an institution of higher education aren’t bright enough to realize the ship is sinking. Then, again, maybe all they need to do is change the name . . . yet again.

  3. I hear the skeleton of Jeb Spaulding rattling in Vermont’s closet.

    And, a giant sucking sound emanating from our Vermont wallets.

  4. No admin were harmed in the making of these savings. And thank goodness for that. For what would we do without a dean of student success.