Presidential finalist identified

Staff Report

The presidential search committee has identified a sole finalist for the position of university president.

Dr. Suresh Garimella, executive vice president for research and partnerships at Purdue University, will be on campus Feb. 13 to 15 for meetings and open forums, according to a Feb. 4 email from David Daigle, chair of the board of trustees and the presidential search committee.

While the position is not guaranteed for Garimella at this point, he would not have been announced unless the search committee was confident in the strength of his candidacy, Daigle said in an interview with the Cynic.

“Announcing him as the sole finalist does not guarantee that he ends up as the next president of the University of Vermont. However, we would not have moved forward with him as the sole finalist if we were not confident that he was the person for the next president,” Daigle said.

Following Garimella’s visit, the board will vote to decide if he will become the new president, according to the email.

The board’s leadership profile for the new president included a record of advancing academic excellence, an ability to strengthen financial support for the university, a history of organizational leadership and accomplished in creating an inclusive environment, according to the email.

Garimella also is the Goodson Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering and served as the Chief Global Affairs Officer and as an Associate Vice President for Engagement at Purdue, according to the email.

The US Department of State appointed Gerimella as a Jefferson Science Fellow and served for six years as a senior fellow in the State Department’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, amongst other awards and honors, according to the email.

Garimella is the co-author of more than 500 publications and 13 patents, according to the email. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, his M.S. at the Ohio State University and his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley, according to the email.