Trustees meet, assess tight funds

UVM’s Board of Trustees gathered for four days of meetings focusing on vital financial issues to the University. UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel presented Strategic Financial Plan 6.0, which assesses the University’s financial situation over the next decade and beyond. Central to their discussion of finances was the allocation of 62 million available loan dollars over the next 10 years. The Campus Life Task Force II focused on assessing the needs of the physical university. The primary purpose of the task force is to “match the level of excellence required by UVM’s Vision: To be among the nation’s premier small research universities, preeminent in our comprehensive commitment to liberal education, environment, health and public service,” according to the task force’s final report. With several building and development projects listed as “needs” in a memo written by Fogel, the 62 million will not cover the majority of the projects and renovations. The projects include changes to Billings, Waterman and Cook. Fogel said that the board would need to make “some hard choices.” “It is evident that our resources simply cannot keep pace with our needs,” Fogel said. “We have scarce resources and we have to prioritize,” Chairman of the Board of Trustees Carl Lisman said. The trustees also discussed tuition rates and methods of balancing residential versus non-residential tuition costs with availability of financial aid. “The strain falls on non- Vermonters to subsidize their [Vermonters’] education,” Fogel said. “Tuition will go up no more than 6 percent; student fees, 10 percent; room charges, 6 percent; and meals, 7.1 percent,” according to The Burlington Free Press. The final approval and decision will be made at the May meeting. The board also voted to name the new plant and soil science building after former senator James Jeffords. On Friday morning, Trustees also discussed the possibility of building a new arena, however on Saturday they decided that they would not reject the proposal, however, set aside a budget for continued research to assess the plan. The facility would be double the size of the current area and would hold sporting events, concerts and a fitness center. The plan and research will be reviewed at the board meeting in May. SLAP also made an appearance on Friday. Students continue to ask the University for a “livable wage.” Saturday was the final trustee meeting for Chairman Carl Lisman. The board “expresses its appreciation and heartfelt best wishes for Chairman Carl S. Lisman,” Fogel said.