“We must have confidence”

This Friday and Saturday, the Board of Trustees met at the Davis Center to discuss the issues facing UVM in the coming months.In the beginning of the meeting, President Daniel Mark Fogel said that the budget situation is not as bad as UVM had predicted.”As we have begun to study the recommendations deans and vice presidents have submitted for Fiscal Year ’09 budget reductions – recommendations designed to bring spending and revenues more closely into balance – we are finding that the effects on personnel in positions and on key indicators of the quality of the academic experience for students and faculty are less dire than many of us had feared,” Fogel said.As a result, Fogel does not anticipate the drastic measures that had been proposed previously. Until the status of the state’s recurring base appropriation to UVM is resolved, “we will defer action on most of the layoff recommendations we have received,” he said.Fogel also stressed that the proposed five percent increase in class size would only add up to one extra student in small classes containing 10-15 people.”We must have confidence in our strength,” Fogel said in the conclusion to his address.In a separate address to the board, Robyn Warhol-Down, an English professor and president of the Faculty Senate, spoke about how many faculty members felt about the administration’s recent actions.”The three minutes that the President of the Faculty Senate is allotted on the agenda are not enough time to convey the anxiety, dismay, anguish, and outrage that many faculty are expressing,” she said.Despite this, Warhol-Down and other faculty members do not wish to see Fogel gone. “I speak for the Executive Council of the Senate when I say we strongly support Dan Fogel’s presidency, and we would not want to see it end for many years to come.”One significant portion of the discussion covered McAuley Hall.While there was some discussion as to how McAuley is represented on UVM’s list of priority projects, McAuley was ultimately endorsed after Board members toured the building.Throughout the first day, several groups met, including the Budget, Finance, and Investment Committee, the Educational Policy and Institutional Resources Committee, the University of Vermont Board, and the Vermont Agricultural College Board.On Saturday, the Full Board met to allow for public comment and to report on the work done in each committee. The meeting ended with a 90-minute executive session, before adjourning.The Board of Trustees meets again in May.