University of Vermont

Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees, Chair's Report

Deborah H. McAneny
Board of Trustees, Chair’s Report
May 16, 2014

Good morning everyone and welcome to the annual Commencement Week Board of Trustees Meeting. I apologize for my absence on such an important weekend but please know I am very close in spirit as I also will be attending Commencement exercises, at Georgetown University, for our second son, Michael, who graduates this weekend. As a trustee, I have always loved this special time because we see such a poignant reminder of why we are here, and feel the responsibility we bear to successfully launch our students into the next phase of their lives. It reaffirms the importance of our stewardship of this great university. In many ways, my personal journey this weekend brings even greater clarity to that purpose.

As parents, our greatest hope is for our children to come through their college years not only well educated and career ready but also emerging confident in themselves, their passions, and their future. Like thousands of other parents who will attend commencement here this weekend, today, I am indeed a very proud Mom. And as a trustee, I am very proud to be serving UVM - my alma mater, and a truly wonderful institution.

For me, these personal reflections help to validate the importance of our strategic priorities and the very close alignment with what is most important to the families who have chosen, and, we hope, will choose UVM in the future. During this meeting the board will have an opportunity to discuss access and affordability when we review and approve the tuition setting budget for next year. Importantly, we also have an opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment to the all important STEM initiative by further advancing the lab and classroom project, and the members of Educational Policy and Institutional Resources Committee will hear updates on our progress on the career success action plan. Each is a real illustration of our strategic priorities around academic excellence. These two initiatives alone demonstrate our focus on the four primary elements of the Strategic Action Plan:

  • Access to success for students
  • Advancing academic excellence and cultivating talent
  • Identifying necessary investments to ensure a bright future
  • A commitment to efficiency and effectiveness that optimizes the use of facilities, technology, assets, and shared services

Of course, all of this would not be possible without the help and support of our Partner, the UVM Foundation, many of the Directors of whom are with us this morning. I know that there are many of us in the room today who can still remember when the Foundation was just a concept on the drawing board. As a new ex-officio member of the Foundation's Board and Executive Committee I want to assure all UVM trustees that the Foundation is very real, doing great work, and providing the critical support and expertise we must have if we are to be successful in implementing our strategic plan. We are very lucky to have an incredibly talented and qualified Board of Directors to guide our foundation under the leadership of our friend and former trustee, John Hilton. On behalf of this board, I want to express our appreciation and gratitude to all the members of the Foundation Board. I look forward to meeting the foundation directors I have not yet met, and to the outstanding achievements we are going to accomplish together on behalf of UVM.

I also want to officially welcome our new trustees to their first official meeting...Ron Lumbra, Samantha Lucas, Don McCree, and welcome back Donna Sweaney to our trustee family.

I am most grateful that our Vice Chair David Daigle agreed to step up and Chair this meeting in my absence. I want to assure all of you that Tom, David and I have worked very closely together in the weeks leading up to this meeting, and I am aware and fully supportive of the resolutions before you this weekend.

In closing let me extend a special debt of gratitude and all good wishes for the future to our departing Vice President for Enrollment Management, Chris Lucier. Our University is better, stronger, and has a higher profile because of your efforts, Chris, and we wish you well as you assume your leadership position at the University of Delaware. Happy trails! (applause)

Finally I want to thank Tom, the administration, faculty, and staff for all you do every single day to make the University of Vermont such an exceptional place.

I would be remiss if I also did not again thank my predecessor, Rob Cioffi, for his long service and commitment to advancing the University. And on a personal note, to the countless hours he invested in my transition to Chair.

To the board, as someone who has served as a trustee for over ten years now I appreciate the level of time, energy and commitment it takes to serve and I am grateful for your generous service.

To our graduates......we celebrate you and wish you the very best this weekend. Please come back and visit often! And we wish all our returning students a happy, safe and productive summer.

I hope that as many of you who are able will attend our Commencement ceremonies this weekend. As I said, it is a very special time, filled with pride for our students and for our University!

This concludes my Chair's Report.

Last modified May 17 2014 08:46 AM