Agriculture and Food System Education Transformation Committee

Educating and Training the Next Generation of Farmers and Food Innovators A group of 45 Vermonters came together in July, 2020 to engage in a nine-month planning process that could transform the agriculture and food system degrees at Vermont Tech. The group includes Vermont Tech alumni, farm and food producers, […]

Educating and Training the Next Generation of Farmers and Food Innovators

A group of 45 Vermonters came together in July, 2020 to engage in a nine-month planning process that could transform the agriculture and food system degrees at Vermont Tech. The group includes Vermont Tech alumni, farm and food producers, education professionals from other Vermont institutions, and government, business and nonprofit leaders who all share a passion for Vermont Tech and our regional food system and want both to succeed.

Vermont Tech’s School of Agriculture, Plant, and Animal Sciences with its hands-on, applied education model has trained generations of farmers and food-system workers. The transition process underway within the college and the Vermont State College System has given this group of volunteer stakeholders the opportunity to evaluate the strengths of the current agricultural education program while making recommendations for ways to increase its presence and relevance in an ever-evolving regional food system.

Through community meetings, large group visioning sessions, small group listening sessions, and an alumni and Randolph area survey, a great deal of input has been gathered which is informing four work teams as they re-envision the focus and educational offerings at Vermont Tech.

To learn more about this effort and what is being recommended:

Transformation Process

Focused on Vermont Tech The work of transforming Vermont Tech is our primary focus. We are doing so in the context of other parallel processes with representation from key stakeholders of the system, Legislature, and community members. The Chancellor’s Office has led a VSCS Forward Taskforce and the Legislature created […]

Focused on Vermont Tech

The work of transforming Vermont Tech is our primary focus. We are doing so in the context of other parallel processes with representation from key stakeholders of the system, Legislature, and community members. The Chancellor’s Office has led a VSCS Forward Taskforce and the Legislature created a Select Committee on the Future of Higher Education. Our sister institution, Northern Vermont University, is leading their own NVU Strong Advisory Committee focused on their internal transformation as well. Above all of these inputs is the important work of Transforming Vermont Technical College and the guiding efforts documented in our charters.

How we got here.

On April 17, 2020, the former Chancellor made a bold proposal to structurally change the Vermont State Colleges System through campus closures. That plan was quickly rejected by a swell of stakeholder support, but put the System on a path of accelerating plans toward creating a more sustainable future. In May, President Moulton created a Transition Advisory Taskforce (TAT), comprised of 15 members representing students, faculty and staff and all of the collective bargaining units. The charge was to assist in the development of a plan to transition the college – Vermont Tech specifically, not the VSCS – to a highly sustainable and stable institution. Important in that work was being a community of colleagues that represented our broad community, providing a framework and filter to support an inclusive gathering of ideas and priorities. The group developed “guardrails” for all ideas submitted and helped rank and organize over 400+ ideas into themes. With those themes in mind, specific “buckets” and priorities started to surface.

The TAT handed off their organized work to a newly formed Drafting Committee, compromised of colleagues serving on TAT and also serving as Executive Team members, have worked through specific project charters that align with the themes that emerged through the TAT work. Members of the Drafting Committee include President Patricia Moulton, Lit Tyler, Ana Gaillat, Jason Enser and Kellie Campbell.  Prioritizing a project management approach to this work, the project charters seek to identify clear goals, deliverables, timelines, stakeholders, budget, and more. The Drafting Committee spent several working days organizing the charters and recently presented drafts to the TAT for feedback and input.

Where we are today.

The final versions of the Charter documents were uploaded to this site in January. Charter Team leads have recruited volunteers to collaborate on the implementation of each charter moving forward. Importantly, the college has transitioned from its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan to this transformation work as its strategic planning process. The continuity between the 2018-2023 document and project charters is linear, with direct association of the earlier objectives found throughout the charters.

Understanding the organization of transformation processes.

This website is dedicated to the Vermont Tech-specific transformation efforts. But those efforts are not happening in vacuum, but rather an ecosystem of concurrent processes led by various stakeholders. To better understand how they relate to each other, here is an organizational chart (PDF) and a short list of each committee or taskforce and their area of responsibility in desending order of authority:

Legislative Select Committee on the Future of Higher Education in Vermont – this group, charged by the Vermont State Legislature, is focused on system governance and configuration.

VSCS Forward Taskforce – this group was called by the Chancellor to examine program duplication across the system, clarify differences between institutions, ensure access and financial sustainability. This group is also tasked with developing recommendations to reconfigure system organization, finance, governance and accreditation.

Transition Advisory Taskforce/Drafting Committee – these two groups represent constituents working specifically on Vermont Tech transformation planning. Their work is detailed throughout this site.

Agriculture & Food Systems Transformation Taskforce – this volunteer committee, made up largely of industry professionals with representatives from Vermont Tech faculty and administration, are working on a re-visioning effort designed to create a sustainable agriculture program at the college.

Transformation Teams

Community-Driven. The work of transforming Vermont Tech involves contributions from both formal and informal structures. The work that began in response to initial restructuring proposals was based on input of everyone in the college, which was then reviewed and categorized by volunteers organized into the Transition Advisory Taskforce (TAT). The […]

Community-Driven.

The work of transforming Vermont Tech involves contributions from both formal and informal structures. The work that began in response to initial restructuring proposals was based on input of everyone in the college, which was then reviewed and categorized by volunteers organized into the Transition Advisory Taskforce (TAT). The leading priorities identified by the TAT’s review were shared with a Drafting Committee, charged with developing Charters to lead the work.

Drafting Committee:

  • Patricia Moulton, President

  • Kellie Campbell

  • Jason Enser

  • Ana Gaillat

  • Littleton (Lit) Tyler

Transition Advisory Taskforce:

  • Group 1: Academics, Delivery (Kellie Campbell, Ana Gaillat, Joan Richmond-Hall, Curtis Steins)
  • Group 2: Recruitment, Enrollment, Student Life; Facilities (Travis Allen, Nate Ball, Ryan Cooney, Jason Enser)
  • Group 3: Campuses; VSCS Reorganization; Administration (Brooke Burlett, Ross Lieblappen, Michelle Stearns)
  • Group 4: Costs; Revenue, Tuition, Funding (Veronica Golden, Scott Sabol, Lit Tyler)

Transition Charging Groups:

Analysis of all Business and Operational Functions of the College

  • Chair: Lit Tyler
  • Membership: Hilary Linehan, Cathy McCullough, Scott Sabol, Carrie Wright, Jason Enser, Cory Tardie

Explore, implement and prioritize new non-traditional delivery learning modalities and student services

  • Co-Chairs: Ana Gaillat and Kellie Campbell
  • Membership: Sean Dailey, Maureen Hebert, Erica Dana, Shelly Russ, Jessica Van Deren, Bonnie Lord, Mary Kathryn Juskiewicz, John Diebold, John Kidder, Sara Tator

Enhance Enrollment Pathways:

  • Chair: Rosemary Distel
  • Membership: Ana Gaillat, Maureen Hebert, Laurel Butler, Steve Airoldi, Stephanie Peters, Paul Winters, Beth Camp, Jeff Higgins, Jeani Stella-Devani, Bridgett Taylor

Transformation of Physical Infrastructure:

  • Chair: Dave Rubin
  • Membership: Lit Tyler, Ana Gaillat, Jason Enser, Kellie Campbell, Ted Manazir, Jean-Marie Clark, Dick Ethier, Cutis Ostler, Chris Reilly, Eric Wolinsky, Nate Ball

Comprehensive Program Review:

  • Chair: Ana Gaillat
  • Membership: Robin Goodall, Suzanne Pickett, Ross Lieblappen, Lit Tyler, Amanda Chaulk, Jim Allen, Joan Richmond-Hall, Rachel Repstad, Jeremy Ouellette

Establishing a Culture of Assessment:

  • Co-Chairs: Ana Gaillat, Assessment Fellow
  • Membership: Suzanne Pickett; Ross Lieblappen; Robin Goodall, Joan Richmond-Hall; Jeremy Ouellette; Rachel Repstad, John Kidder, Jason Pelletier, Lisa Fox, Jeff Higgins

Transformation Resources

Transformation Charters Transformation of Physical Infrastructure Project Update Report: February 16, 2022 Project Update Report: September 10, 2021 Project Update Report: July 7, 2021 Project Update Report: May 2, 2021 Project Update Report: April 2, 2021 Final Charter Charter Meeting: November 19, 2020 Non-Traditional Pathways Project Update Report (Remote Delivery): […]

Transformation Charters

Transformation of Physical Infrastructure

Non-Traditional Pathways

Enhanced Enrollment Pathways

Establishing a Culture of Assessment

VSCS Board Priorities

Legislative Select Committee

Website

Presidential Memo

Resources: