VSC Board of Trustees Vote Means Changes for NVU

vscvoteFAIRLEE-Changes are being made to how the money given to public higher education in Vermont is distributed and the newly formed Northern Vermont University here in the Northeast Kingdom is facing a financial cut. Today the Vermont State College Board of Trustees approved a new payment structure for the four state colleges and universities that leaves NVU receiving less over the next 4 years.

 

Previously, all five of the schools received 20% each of the state money, but because Lyndon State and Johnson State unified to become Northern Vermont University in July 218, a change had to be made to more evenly distribute the funds.

Jeb Spaulding Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges says, "We had to find a way that made sense in the middle so we came up with a 3 part policy which is fairly stable, easy to follow, easy to understand and in the end will mean the appropriation from NVU will go down from 40% to about 34% in the span of over 4 years."

With this means a loss for the University. President of the University Elaine Collins says, "for NVU it is a loss of money, it will be a loss of approximately a little bit over $400,000 per year until we can catch up to its a little over a million dollars in terms of total revenue and that'll be imbedded in our mixed budget."

Collins says they will work to recoup the 6.1% funding being lost under the new plan. One option she says is to ask the state for more funding, the other is to look for new ways for the school to make money. "The second is to think about potential revenue we could bring in that would bring in that 50% allocation and numbers. So a growth will help, a growth initiatives that we can put in place at NVU those will all be helpful." She adds that a growth in student enrollment could help the revenue as well.

For Spaulding however, it all comes down to what the state has to be willing to do, "the most significant issue that people need to know about is, the state of Vermont supports its public higher education system less than any state in the country. Our state appropriation per FTE (full time equivalent student) is the lowest in the country. And that translates into a higher tuition than we'd like to have and many students taking on too much debt."

Spaulding goes on to say that everyone needs to work together to convince the Governor and the Legislators that it's time to forget low funding, something that has been in place for decades.

The changes will be starting in the fiscal year 2020 and last until 2023, when funding is expected to go back to being evenly distributed.

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