Jeffords Center shuts down

UVM’s Jeffords Center, is expected to close.

The Center, located on Trinity campus was  named in honor of former U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords, for his contribution to the state of Vermont, according to the Center’s website.

The Center’s mission is to inform the community about public policy.

It also strives to inform the community of public policy’s effect on youth on the local, state and national levels, according to the center’s website.

The annual $560,000 federal earmark used to establish the public policy research hub ran out last September and was not renewed, said John Evans, vice president of research at the center.

The center’s continuation depended on funding of about $600,000 a year from research grants and private sources, Evans said.

However, the funding was not sufficient enough to maintain the center.

“The public shouldn’t be upset that the Jeffords Center is closing,” first-year Bobby Miller said.

“It was designed to operate for five years and it did just that,” he said. “It honorably served the people of Vermont for as long as it could.”

The University’s goal at this point is to ensure that Senator Jeffords’ legacy continues to have an impact, Evans said.

“I am saddened that there are not resources to continue at the past level, but I celebrate that his impact will always be part of the UVM experience,” he said.

Evans  said he is pleased with all of the Center’s accomplishments thus far.

The Center supported the creation of the Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security, he said.

Asim Zia, associate professor in the department of Community Development and Applied Economics, will lead this institute, Evans said.

The Institute will also be a part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, he said.

The Center funded more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students, dating back to 2006-2007.

It has also led to the publication of dozens of papers, presentations and nearly 50 policy briefs, Evans said.

Although the Center will no longer exist, there will be an endowment fund that will annually generate around $25,000.

This will support visiting lecturers who will address policy issues in areas that reflect Senator Jeffords’ interests, he said.