President’s All College Update: November ’19

19 Nov 2019

Happy last week of school before the Thanksgiving break. I hope you all have a chance to rest, relax, and consider what makes each of you thankful.

Ski Hill Rope Tow

As Leah Gifford, SHAPE Manager recently announced, the rope tow on the Randolph Center campus passed inspection early this year! We are very excited to have the inspection behind us, especially with so much snow in this winter’s predictions. This clears the college to open up the rope tow for use on the skill hill. Student staffing is required to make operations possible, so please reach out to Leah Gifford if you are interested and available for this paid position.

Cross Country USCAA National Championships

Both men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the USCAA National Championships on Friday, November 8 in Virginia Beach, VA. We are so proud of our teams for competing at the national level! A women’s first-year student, Cassidy Lewis of the VAST program, took 11th place to earn her an All-American second team honors. All the athletes had remarkable performances that added up to a 5th place finish overall. That’s the best finish at a USCAA National Championship event by a women’s athletic team at Vermont Tech! The men’s team had several competitors place in the standings to help the team reach 11th overall among the 19 teams. Congratulations to all our Knights runners for their achievements. You make us proud!

Securing the Future: Update

As most of you know, the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor initiated the Securing the Future project for the system. At the October 28 meeting, the Board charged the colleges with developing institution-specific responses to the white paper. At Vermont Tech, we have three task forces looking at facilities, academics, and student affairs/retention. These are led by members of the Executive Committee and are Lit Tyler, Ana Gaillat, and Jason Enser, respectively. The Board requests that we make progress reports at the December 2nd meeting of the Trustees, so we will be sharing information with our community in advance of that meeting.

Sharing the Good News

Amanda Chaulk, Director of Marketing & Communications recently shared our SPECTACULAR news about the national ROI study that ranked Vermont Tech first in Vermont and in the 96th percentile nationally. The press release is on our website and a couple news outlets picked up the story too. I have heard that many employees are sharing the news in their own social media accounts. My favorite story is the one of an employee who emailed their local high school leaders, including teachers, guidance counselors, and principals of the traditional and tech center schools with a personal note. Please consider doing the same with your local schools and legislators. We want the world to know about the quality of a Vermont Tech education!

Nursing Site Expansion in St. Albans

Our own Sarah Billings-Berg, Associate Dean of Nursing, had a shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Northwest Medical Center’s new three-story medical facility in downtown St. Albans in early November. Local 22 & Local 44 were on hand to cover the event and filed this story. The additional teaching space and simulation lab will help the college double the number of nursing students learning in the community! This expansion is only possible thanks to our partners at the NMC and the hard work of our nursing department.

Hiring an Instructional Technologist

CTO Kellie Campbell has recently shared the news with faculty that we will be posting a position for an Instructional Technologist soon. Given our strategic plan goals to expand the numbers of accessible programs and to leverage technological best practices, I am in full support of expanding our resources in this area. This position should go a long way toward serving our community as we consider the ongoing and growing teaching needs of our academic programs; toward successful onboarding of new technology solutions (such as Canvas) and adapting them to our specific needs; and toward new ideas and innovative efforts. Kellie is working with Academics to identify priorities and expects the position to be filled as early as the start of next semester.

Bequest from Stephen Space, VSA AG ‘54

In 2017, upon his passing at age 85, Stephen “Tiny” Space, VSA AG ’54, stipulated in his will that his house and property was to be sold and all proceeds – over $220,000 after expenses – go to Vermont Tech to start a scholarship in his name. This will be awarded annually to admitted students needing financial aid.

As with the Delbert Haskins ’69 gift this year and bequest coming soon, we are always so grateful for those alumni who support us with their estates.

Veterans Celebrations and Thanks

There are 81 veterans currently enrolled at Vermont Tech, receiving benefits of some kind from various agencies. Last week and yesterday, the residential campuses held events to honor and thank our veteran students and employees for their service. This year is actually the 100th anniversary of this official holiday and we are very proud to continue the celebration tradition and recognize our veteran community members!

Student Leaders Wanted!

Dean of Students Jason Enser recently reached out directly to students looking for applicants to two vital positions: Orientation Leaders and Tech Trek Leaders. These opportunities are for the summer of 2020 and are paid positions. If you or any students you know may be qualified and interested, please reach out to the Student Affairs department before the end of January. These are important roles students can play with our incoming students, helping them transition to our college and community.

Upcoming President’s Open Office Hours and All College Meeting

The Williston open office hours were rescheduled to December 5th, shortly after the holiday break. I will be in Room 202 for faculty and staff in the morning and Room 203 for students in the afternoon in the 200 administrative building, right across from Jean Marie Clark’s (dean of the Williston campus) office. I hope you are able to stop in to say hello!

The fall semester’s All College Meeting is scheduled for December 6th at noon, so save the date!

My second President’s Social for employees is tonight and I hope those that can will stop by! I promise to have the fire going in the fireplace and tasty light refreshments.