University still awaiting confirmation for commencement speaker

Commencement is less than six weeks away and UVM has not yet confirmed a speaker for the ceremony.At this time there is no one secured, but the University has been discussing with a potential speaker and is just waiting for final confirmation before they make the anouncement, Gary Derr, vice president of Executive Operations and Chief of Staff at UVM, said.Normally, Derr said that the University tries to secure a speaker in early February.”We’ve had some challenges this year for a variety of reasons, like scheduling conflicts, that won’t allow them to attend,” he said.President Daniel Mark Fogel said that the University shot too high this year and asked people who were busy and who had a lot of constraints on their schedules.”We’ve had wonderful speakers over the years, but we went to the highest levels in the nation and the planet,” he said. “That was the desire of the students and the faculty.”The University is looking to advance the time frame on choosing speakers for future years to make the decision-making process faster, Derr said.UVM is already searching for a speaker for the graduating class of 2011, he said.”We’re trying to go after more high-profile speakers,” he said. “We want potential speakers to know, ‘We really want you and we’re giving you 12 months notice.’ It’s been too tight of a time frame.”Regardless of the challenges the University faced in confirming a speaker this year, President Fogel said that the person they expect to come will provide a rewarding experience in the lives of graduates.”I think it will be quite an exciting speaker and one that will be quite a treat for families and students to hear,” President Fogel said.