Robert F. Cioffi email to UVM student body


Robert F. Cioffi   Chair, Board of Trustees    

May 27, 2011 To Members of the UVM Community: By now you have probably seen media reports of highly personal communications between Rachel Kahn-Fogel and a Development and Alumni Relations official.  Clearly this is a very difficult and painful situation for all involved, and we empathize with them and wish them well as they work to deal with the damage that this highly personal matter has caused. This is obviously an unusual and unfortunate circumstance.  As Board Chair, I wish to emphasize that the Board’s interest is not focused on the personal and private aspects of these revelations. Rather, it is our fiduciary responsibility to preserve the integrity of the institution on behalf of our students, and our faculty, staff, and alumni by maintaining an environment that is consistent with our standards and obligations under University policies. The Board of Trustees takes its responsibilities very seriously, and while we respect privacy concerns, we must and will also do what’s right for UVM.  We have initiated a review to determine whether the behavior and actions that have come to light were appropriate under our policies and standards of conduct.  In addition, Ms. Rachel Kahn-Fogel has been removed from her volunteer role in planning University and Development events. I would like to acknowledge President Fogel’s many accomplishments on behalf of the University in what we all know is a very demanding and difficult job. Nothing about this situation changes the gratitude we feel for the dramatic transformation the University has undergone over the past decade under his leadership.  And we have seen no indication that President Fogel has been involved in any wrongdoing. Our University has made tremendous strides forward, and countless opportunities lie ahead for us.  I will not permit this situation to deter or distract all of us from the important work that continues at UVM on so many fronts. The Board has a strong commitment to conducting the business of the University responsibly and ethically, and at the same time remains focused on the future health and success of The University of Vermont. This is an extraordinary community that depends on all of its members for us to succeed.   I want to thank every member of the UVM community for your contributions to our achievements, and assure you that there will be much more positive progress ahead. Sincerely, Robert F. Cioffi Chair, UVM Board of Trustees


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