NVU Reacts To VSCS Unification

VERMONT - With the Vermont State Colleges System looking to move toward a new unified model in the next couple of years, students and administration are wasting no time in getting involved.


The new system model is expected to launch on July 1, 2023 for the Fall 2023 semester. In the meantime, Northern Vermont University President Elaine Collins says that NVU will be looking to continue to transform itself into a more sustainable model. The university is currently taking into account duplicative academic programs that can be delivered more efficiently, and how to deliver education to students. "Unification is a developmental process," she said.

Student Trustee Ryan Cooney agrees that there is a says that there is still "an aggressive timetable" ahead of the system and a lot is still unknown at this time. "I mean, even the idea of what the name would be of this future institution has not really been discussed," he said. The name "Vermont State University" has been tossed around by VSCS Chancellor Sophie Zdatny, but the idea of "VSU" remains a placeholder until the Board votes on a name at a later date.

What is known, however, is that each campus that will be part of the new unified university model will continue to function; there will be no campus closures. Cooney is also excited about bringing different teams and administration together across the system, which will make a collaborative allocation of resources will be created to better serve the students.

Cooney thinks that this is the transformative model the system needs in order to survive, going on to say "I think we're really going to see the liberal arts education continue to soar along with the technical expertise that Vermont Tech specifically provides."

However, not everyone is keen to jump on board with the idea. NVU-Lyndon Student Government President Gill Macdonald expressed her hesitation with the merger. She thinks consolidation as a whole is a good plan and can see how it would save the system financially, but questions if "during a pandemic the time to actually unify all of our schools, or is it the time to unify us as individual schools?"