Private donors due to lack of public funding

Letter to the Editor

I have just now gotten around to catching up on my Cynic volumes. One article in particular that I am having trouble processing is “Public School, Private Donors.”

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge my bias being in the Grossman School of Business and the recent private funding given to the business program in the last four years.

However, also being in the College of Arts and Sciences as a music minor, I have observed the two very different colleges on campus.

You also touched on the amount of funding given to the University and that the majority of that is private donors, such as the multipurpose center and Cohen Hall.

One thing that disappoints me about this article is the lack of information given.

As the title of the article is “Public University, Private Donors,” you only touch on the private funding.

You don’t say anything about the public funding that UVM receives from the Vermont state government.

One key statistic that I think is essential that was missed in this article was that according to the 2016 budget (the most recent) only 7 percent of the total University operating budget came from the state of Vermont.

Vermont is ranked No. 47 out of all 50 states for their contribution (or lack thereof) to their state university.

A university is considered public whether the state government contributes 1 percent of the total budget or 100 percent.

With Vermont being considered a “public” university, it is more of a private university due to the fact that 93 percent of the operating budget needs to come from other sources, such as increasing tuitions, donors and changes in investment portfolios.

As future alumni, one thing that we can do is advocate for the future students and give back for our education.

Even if it’s $50 per year, $50 per year with a graduation class of roughly 2,500 students each year is an extra $125,000 that the University will get to make improvements to arts that they don’t currently have, nor receive from the Vermont state government.

It’s time to look to the future instead of looking to the present, because there’s nothing we can do to change it.

If you have a passion for advocating, join SGA or go work for the UVM Foundation and encourage past alumni to donate for current students.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.


Emily T. Wascura


University of Vermont ’19

Grossman School of Business

[email protected]