President’s All College Update: January ’21

14 Jan 2021

MLK Day Events

For the first time, Vermont Tech is closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. This gives all of us the opportunity to participate in celebrations associated with this civil rights leader, and to provide acts of service in our communities. I hope each of you finds a way to engage in some form of service and reflection on the legacy of Dr. King, a leader who said, “if we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation.” An important message that resonates loudly during these times.  Student Affairs has curated a list of events, which can be found on the college website and volunteer opportunities are listed on the National Service directory.

Spring COVID protocols

Recently, our COVID-19 Coordinator, Stacy Plourde, and Jason Enser have sent emails about the spring semester and COVID protocols. The website is being updated frequently with details about testing requirements, returning to campus, FAQs and the updated Health Contract for students. Please check back often as more information is added. If you have questions not answered on the website, please email Stacy so we can add more resources to our information.

Website awards

The newly migrated website is a three-peat award winner! The site received three design awards across two award competitions. The site was awarded Silver in “Website Redesign” and “Best User Experience” categories in one competition and Silver for the “Website-Schools/Colleges/Universities” category in the other. The competitions are judged by top-tier industry professionals. Congratulations to the team members who worked so hard on the migration, especially the project lead, Carrie Clement!

Board vote regarding system transformation

The Board of Trustees Executive Committee voted on December 17, 2020 in support of pursuing a plan to evaluate the recommendations of the Legislative Select Committee’s recommendations. This project-based plan includes a SWOT-like analysis of the ideas under consideration and many opportunities for community input in the coming weeks. Local media misrepresented the vote as an approval of the Select Committee’s single-accreditation recommendation, which overstates where in the process the Board is in their decision making. You can see the plan that was adopted on pages 4-5 of the December 17 meeting materials here, which highlights methods for gathering community input.

TAT update and the new web site

As Kellie Campbell reported out at the January 6 meeting of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), the Drafting Committee has hosted five separate forums to present and gather input on the five project-organizing charter documents. The Transformation Advisory Taskforce also commissioned a microsite of the website to provide transparency to the process, for hosting documents, meeting recordings, and try to articulate the process. The new website is live (though it may continue to have tweaks), but is a great go-to resource for all things Vermont Tech-specific transformation. We also attempt to delineate between the various transformation processes, for those trying to keep track of the many parallel initiatives!

IBAS update – Additive Manufacturing expansion in Randolph Center

The project the college is undertaking in response to the award of $8M from the DOD’s IBAS for expansion of our Additive Manufacturing resources is making some critical progress. Our flexible IT team has moved to the Admin building temporarily to make space in Morrill for the needed lab expansion. IT will land in their long-term Judd space after renovations are completed there. The project team has recently awarded the contract to and hired DEW Construction for construction management services and Freeman, French, Freeman for architectural services. We expect construction drawings to review on Friday, January 15. On this timeline, we anticipate demolition and construction to start on February 15.

On the human resources front, the position for Director of the Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative (VT-MC) is open for recruitment with the position description and application available online. Our partners, VMEC, have been hired to provide the required industry outreach and business development advising/surveying for the VT-MC. It is exciting to see reality taking shape, including with their new microsite as part of the domain!

SHAPE as a study place for spring

We are excited to announce that the Campus Center will be available for Randolph Center students 24/7 in the spring. Students will be able to use the space after all residential students go through quarantine. The Campus Center is one of the larger locations on campus and can be utilized for both socializing and studying, assuming absolute quiet is not needed for studying, that is!  Since it is a multipurpose space, students will have to be respectful of one another and follow all applicable protocols.  Anyone seeking a truly quiet space to study should use the Hartness library. Locations and hours for Hartness can be found on their website.

Who’s new at VTC?

We have a few new faces and names to share with you of those that have recently joined the Vermont Tech ranks. These employees have started after our last update:

  • Damon Devani – Technology and IT Systems Advisor, VMEC
  • Christopher Pouk – Public Safety Officer, Part Time
  • Eric Maxham – Moved from Part Time to Full Time
  • Jackson Jenkins – Moved from Full Time to Part Time

Welcome to our newest Knight colleagues!