Day 2: live at the board of trustees meeting

Sophomore Drew Baker and first-year Bella Federico protests alongside other students at the board of trustees meeting Oct. 20.


8 a.m.

During public comment, three students involved in the social and racial justice campaign at UVM spoke to the board.

Sophomore Harmony Edosomwan, BSU president, said the University-wide annual reports neglect to mention the wellbeing of  students of color and that their experiences are different from those of white, cisgender students.

“We’re tired of all the bullcrap, to be frank,” Edosomwan said.

Senior Z McCarron spoke to the board about their experience with the LGBTQA community and Women’s Center. They said that these communities–critical spaces for students to feel safe-are underfunded.

McCarron called for the removal of the name Bailey from Bailey/Howe Library because of namesake Guy W. Bailey’s involvement in the Eugenics movement.


5 p.m.

The board entered a closed executive session to discuss United Academics contract negotiations, the 439 College St. property and Sullivan’s annual and five-year presidential reviews.

4:30 p.m.

The board heard a presentation on the top threats to cyber security at UVM from Mara Saule, Dean of University Libraries and CIO, and security information officer Mark Ackerly.

Ackerly said the biggest threats to security are targeted email phishing scams. Forty-five percent of the emails sent to ‘’ email addresses are filtered out, he said.

Ackerly and Saule recommend the University continue to train students, faculty and staff on how to keep their data private. Ackerly said the University deals with cyber attacks on a daily basis.

Last week, someone in the finance office reported that a non-affiliate tried to transfer $45,000 through a cyber attack, Ackerly said.

3:40 p.m.

The board voted unanimously to approve the resolution on the multipurpose center design phase, authorizing spending $1 million from gift donations in order to finish the design phase in Dec. 2018. The board had no calls for additional discussion before the vote.

3:00 p.m.

President Tom Sullivan said the remainder of the project’s cost would be paid for in a student athletic and recreation fee.

Several board members expressed the concern with the project’s completion date. The design phase is expected to be completed Dec. 2018 and construction completed in 2021. McKenna said the firm is trying to minimize construction’s impact on the hockey season and student wellness and recreation.

2:45 p.m.

Colleen McKenna, architect on the new athletic complex project, presented  the plan for the Multipurpose Center following the board’s approval of the planning process in their February meeting.

Shane Jacobson, president and CEO of the UVM Foundation, said the Foundation has secured “north of 5 million” in donor gifts for the new athletic complex. The funding plan states a need for $20-25 million in private fundraising. The entire project is expected to cost $80-85 million, McKenna said.

The proposed design would renovate the entire PFG complex, upgrading and relocating facilities to improve traffic flow, capacity, and increase space for student health, wellness, and recreation space. The board will decide whether to approve spending $1 million on finishing the design phase by Dec. of 2018.

12 noon

Wanda Heading-Grant, vice president for human resources, diversity and multicultural affairs, gave the annual diversity report. Heading-Grant acknowledged the protests on campus this semester and said she hoped to continue the conversation with student leaders about campus climate.

“We acknowledge that UVM still has work to do,” Heading-Grant said.

11 a.m.

The board approved three new academic programs: an M.S. in physical activity and wellness science, a minor in law and society and a minor in emergency medical services.

Student Climate Culture students silently protested the budget, finance and investment committee, lining up along a wall facing the committee. The students are calling for the University to divest the endowment from fossil fuels.

Ryan Hargraves confirmed as the new director of admission by the education, policy and insitutional research committee.

10:30 a.m.

The education policy and institutional research committee approved a $3 million project to renovate McAuley residential hall on Trinity campus. The project will replace the current uninsulated glass windows and slate walls, from 1958, with an insulated window system.

9:45 a.m.

Dean William Falls of CAS and Dean Rick Morin of the Larner College of Medicine advised the board of their plan to examine building a new research lab near Hills for the College of Medicine. They also said they wanted to examine renovating both Given and Dewey buildings to bring them up to date for modern teaching and research standards. Bob Vaughn, Director of Capital Planning and Management, said that doing so would eliminate more than $40 million in deferred maintenance costs.

The board accepted the College of Medicine’s plan to spend money to further examine the feasibility of such a project, which would then be put up for authorization by the board at a later date.

8:40 a.m.

SGA President Chris Petrillo presented his goals for the coming year to the board, including a focus on student services provided by the University. Petrillo also said that he wanted to work on making class textbook lists available earlier, eliminating extra-credit hour fees, and better dealing with equity and diversity issues.

To this goal, Petrillo said that he wanted to increase budget allocations to identity-based groups on campus, and said the senate was voting to increase the budget available to diversity groups by 50%.

8:20 a.m.

The board approved a resolution accepting the positive review given by the 5-year presidential review. The board and audience stood and clapped for President Sullivan. Sullivan then highlighted positive press about the University since the last board meeting and provided expansion on statistics about the class of 2021.

8:00 a.m.

Board chairman David Daigle said that real cost of attendance at UVM has risen sixfold over the past 60 years, 3% annually. The board expects that total costs to out-of-state students will soon reach $250,000 for a four-year degree.