Save NVU by Katherine Sims & the NEK Collaborative Board of Directors/Advisory Board

in Letter to the Editor

This letter was submitted by Katherine Sims & the NEK Collaborative Board of Directors/Advisory Board

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We are writing today to ask you to take action to help ensure that NVU can continue to provide critical, affordable higher education to Vermonters and be an economic and cultural engine for northern Vermont for years to come.

As you likely know, this spring, the former Vermont State College Chancellor, Jeb Spaulding, proposed a drastic restructuring of the Vermont State Colleges System (VSCS) that included the permanent closure of NVU and VTC’s Randolph campus.

Thankfully, after immense public pressure (including from many of you) this proposal was voted down by the Vermont State Board of Trustees and Chancellor Spaulding resigned.

However, the future of the VSCS and NVU is far from certain. Chronic low state funding, demographic challenges, and the hardships brought on by COVID-19 have resulted in a perfect financial storm for many higher education institutions, including all of the Vermont State Colleges and NVU.

NVU created the NVU Strong Committee to modernize their business model and identify efficiencies that will help make NVU more sustainable in the future.

But the State has a critical role to play as well. Vermont commits fewer public dollars to our state college system (per full time student) and helping our students go on to higher education than any other state in the nation.

In order to continue to serve Vermonters, the VSCS needs $40.3 million in bridge funding. Unfortunately, the legislature seems to be continuing their pattern of underfunding Vermont’s higher education institutions and to date, has only appropriated $5 million in bridge funding.

This falls far short of what is necessary to have a functioning, successful VSCS that supports Vermont students—often those in most need of the opportunity of an affordable, high-quality, in-state college education—and creates a thriving workforce for our employers.

The Vermont legislature is meeting again in late August and September and will be making additional decisions around bridge funding for the VSCS. Legislators need to hear from you that bridge funding is critical for our students and our economy.

NVU’s total economic impact in northern Vermont is conservatively estimated at $113 million annually and the University provides critical access to an affordable, higher education for Vermonters. The vast majority of NVU’s students – 70% – are Vermonters and nearly half are the first in their family to attend college.

Please write or call your legislator and ask them to provide the $40.3 million in bridge funding necessary for a successful VSCS. A list of legislators and their contact information is provided below. If your legislator is not listed below, click here to look up their contact information. Please also post the importance of bridge funding on social media and tag your legislator. For talking points and more information please check out NVU’s action page.

The NEK region mobilized after the Chancellor’s proposal to close NVU and it made all the difference. The time has come again for action. Legislators need to hear from you that full bridge funding is necessary or they will likely continue their tradition of underfunding this critical system.

Thank you,

Katherine Sims & the NEK Collaborative Board of Directors and Advisory Board

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

Please write or call your legislator and ask them to provide the $40.3 million in bridge funding necessary for a successful VSCS.

Speaker Mitzi Johnson – mjohnson@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 363-4448
Sen. Tim Ashe – tashe@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 318-0903
Sen. Jane Kitchel – jkitchel@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 684-3482
Sen. Debbie Ingram – (802) 310-4625, (802) 879-0054
Sen. Richard Westman – rwestman@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Dan Noyes – DNoyes@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 730-7171, (802) 644-2297
Rep. Kitty Toll – ktoll@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Marty Feltus – mfeltus@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 626-9516
Rep. Patrick Seymour – pseymour@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 274-5000
Sen. Joe Benning – jbenning@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 626-3600, (802) 274-1346
Rep. Matt Hill – MHill@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Corey Parent – CParent@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Randy Brock – rbrock@leg.state.vt.us
Sen. Bobby Starr – rstarr@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 988-2877, (802) 309-3354
Sen. John Rodgers – jrodgers@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Marcia Martel – mmartel@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 748-9134
Rep. Joseph “Chip” Troiano – ctroiano@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 533-7712
Rep. Scott Beck – sbeck@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 274-0201
Rep. Scott Campbell – scampbell@leg.state.vt.us , (802) 595-5580
Rep. Carl Rosenquist – CRosenquist@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 527-7332
Rep. Barbara Murphy – bmurphy@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Michael McCarthy – mmccarthy@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 233-7587
Rep. Casey Toof – ctoof@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 309-3522
Rep. Eileen Dickinson – edickinson@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 524-3404
Rep. Marianna Gamache – mgamache@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Brian K. Savage – bsavage@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 782-9314
Rep. Charen Fegard – cfegard@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 848-7303
Rep. Lisa Hango – LHango@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 933-4667
Rep. James Gregoire – jgregoire@leg.state.vt.us, (902) 933-2667
Rep. Felisha Leffler – fleffler@leg.state.vt.us, fleffler@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Heidi E. Scheuermann – hscheuermann@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 253-9314
Rep. Lucy Rogers – lrogers@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 730-0604
Rep. Avram Patt – apatt@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 223-1014
Rep. David Yacovone – DYacovone@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 730-0483
Rep. Lynn Batchelor – lbatchelor@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 873-3006
Rep. Brian Smith – BSmith@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 766-4962
Rep. Michael Marcotte – mmarcotte@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 334-2132, (802) 334-6302
Rep. Woodman Page – wpage@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 334-6988
Rep. Vicki Strong – vstrong@leg.state.vt.us, (802) 754-2790
Rep. Samuel Young – syoung@leg.state.vt.us
Rep. Mark Higley – mhigley@leg.state.vt.us, 802-744-6379

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