LYNDONVILLE – A proposal to unify Lyndon State College and Johnson State College under one administration is moving forward.
Spearheaded by Chancellor of Vermont State Colleges, Jeb Spaulding, the merging of the two schools would create one larger and expectantly stronger college with two distinct campuses, each with its own identity.
According to the proposal, Lyndon and Johnson will share administration and academic programs while retaining their names.
Spaulding presented the recommendation to the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees and received a provisional approval to combine the colleges by July 1, 2017, with Dr. Elaine Collins as the recommended president of the unified college.
The board of trustees will make a final decision, based on a unification report and analysis by Spaulding, at a trustee meeting in September.
According to Spaulding, unification will combine the best qualities of the colleges, increase opportunities for students, focus limited resources on students and learning, and allow both campuses to succeed.
“I understand that unification represents significant change, and that the Lyndon family has had its share of change in the past few months,” a statement issued by Spaulding reads. “At a time when all of our colleges are challenged by external pressures like declining demographics, increased competition, low state support, and competition from new delivery modes, we must be proactive and position ourselves for a strong future. We must reach a critical mass of students in order to balance budgets. Shared administration and robust academic programs will help us get there.”
The unified college will have a single accreditation and budget, and each campus will have its own identity.
The NCAA has confirmed that each campus is allowed to have its own mascot and array of sports teams under the unified model. The Lyndon State Hornets and the Johnson State Badgers would continue to compete in a Division III conference.