Dan Fogel Broadcasts Vision for UVM

Ushering in the new school year, our distinguished president broadcast an opus of a welcome message in which he outlined the school’s position and vision for a productive future. This coming commencement to be the school’s 200th, Dan Fogel has made the restoration of the campus green a primary objective in the spirit of adherence to more dated visions of University appearance. To what the green will be restored is an image more aligned with a historic one with longer sightlines, and fewer smaller shrubs. He assured the campus in a follow-up email that mostly crabapples would be removed and that changes would not be drastic. There is to be, for those interested, a guided tour of the green with developers and planners to elucidate plans for the digging. In continuing with a tradition begun last year First-Years participated in a candle-light vigil in an, “affirmation of the values that make UVM such a special place: a community dedicated to learning, to service, to fairness, to the practical application of knowledge, to environmental stewardship, to social justice, and to respect,integrity, innovation, openness, and responsibility.” This year’s George D. Aiken lecture, slated for the 20th of this month, will be centered on the theme, “Who Chooses the Food You Eat?”, Daniel Fogel saying, “this year’s Aiken Lecture aims to address the obesity epidemic by exploring some of the decisions that get made about food marketing, production and distribution well before the consumer makes his/her choices about what to buy and eat.” Also included in his publication were pieces of the strategic agenda. Under Provost John Bramley’s governance, a vision statement of the Strategic Action Plan was put out last spring. Revised by the University Planning Council, the strategic agenda states its objective thus: “to be the nation’s premier small public research university, preeminent in liberal education and the study of the environment and health, and dedicated to providing students with extraordinary opportunities for learning and personal development and to enhancing the cultural, social, and economic life of Vermont, the nation, and the world.” These are lofty ideals; the remainder of his messages seeks to persuade the student of their appeal and feasibility at this University. He listed numerous “leading agenda items”, several of which follow. -The honors college is still a top priority for the school and the completion of a design for the synchronization of this college with the University at large will be worked on throughout the year. -Efforts to “strengthen and focus graduate programs” will be intensified and expanded. -There will be, “Intensive work engaging faculty, staff, and students in information technology master planning in a process led by Dean Mara Saule” In closing Fogel remarked on the dualistic nature of the University, being at once a physical collection of buildings and people, and, perhaps, more importantly , a set of ideas. Somehow through all the visions and machinations concocted by the administration the idea of the University as an IDEA was not left behind in what will surely be a period of expansion, beautification, change.