No dean after a year of searching for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences



Morrill Hall on UVM’s Central campus holds the office of the dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In August 2018, former Dean Thomas Vogelmann announced he was stepping down, and a replacement still hasn’t been found a year later.

Zoe Stern, Cynic News Reporter

UVM’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is without a dean a year after the search began, leaving the interim dean with an overflowing plate of responsibility.

Former Dean Thomas Vogelmann announced he would retire in the summer of 2019 when a new dean was found, after 11 years on the job, according to an August 2018 email.

Under Vogelmann, CALS created degrees in food systems, brought the UVM Dairy Bar back to campus and increased enrollment in the college by 50%, former President Tom Sullivan stated in an August 2018 email.

Now, Interim Dean Jean Harvey has been dealing with the impacts of not having a replacement. She’s had extra work added to her plate and straddles the line as both a professor and now dean, she said.

“I still have a research program, I have a graduate student, I’m on a national grant review panel and I’m teaching this semester.” Harvey said, “I agreed to do all those things this year, and you don’t just say in July, ‘oh you know those things I told you I’d do last year, I’m not gonna do those.’”

The search for a new dean began in November 2018 and didn’t bring about a new one, according to Communications Director Enrique Corredera.

The first search did bring eight potential candidates to campus. The search committee picked four to come back to UVM for an additional interview, but none were selected, Harvey said.

One candidate in specific didn’t even seem to want to come back, Harvey said.

“I really think in the end, one of the four also didn’t really want to be here so it was a combination of us wanting them and them wanting us,” she said.

Harvey is excited to see what a new search could bring.

“I think all the deans are excited about the changes and moving ahead and there is a new administration and we’re looking forward to having things be different,” she said.

A revitalized search will start after Labor Day, according to Corredera.