UVM board of trustees votes this week

If passed, a resolution being voted on by the UVM board of trustees will allow people unaffiliated with the board to speak at board meetings. The ordinance allocates time for anyone to talk; be it student, faculty, or resident of Burlington. According to the resolution, there would be fifteen minutes at the beginning of each board of trustees meeting: three minutes for five people to speak. “Lots of constituents were stopping their legislators in the grocery store, wanting to talk about the University of Vermont and this gives them a chance,” said Gary Derr, executive assistant to the president and provost. The time constraint has many people wondering if three minutes per person is adequate. “If we are paying 34 thousand dollars to go to this school we should be allowed to talk as long as we want,” said UVM junior Bob Bartlett. Director of United Academics, David Shiman, said, “I am glad that they are formally recognizing that there are other people besides the board of directors that have a voice. “But when I spoke before them, three minutes would not have been enough.” The Ad Hoc Committee on Board Operations will vote on the resolution Friday Sept. 8, at 3:15 p.m. in room 427A Waterman. If passed, the resolution will become policy in November. The current configuration of the board arranges the members into twelve different committees, each focusing on separate topics. A new system will be voted on by the board and, if passed, will combine five committees into the Educational Policy and Resources Committee. The vote will also combine four other committees into the Budget Finance and Investment Committee. Derr hopes the new system will create greater integration of the University, as well as be easier, logistically. The board of trustees is comprised of nine retired or active Vermont Legislators, nine self-perpetuating members, three individuals elected by the governor, two students, the governor, and the president of the University. They will convene on Sept. 7, 8 and 9.