- Vermont State Faculties System’s chancellor, Sophie Zdatny, will resign on the finish of the yr following a three-year tenure marked by the pandemic and monetary challenges.
- Zdatny first led the system as interim chancellor after her predecessor Jeb Spaulding abruptly resigned in April 2020. Underneath Zdatny’s management, the system noticed a big improve in state funding, and shaped Vermont State College by a merger of three financially struggling faculties.
- The system’s board will start the seek for a brand new system chief within the subsequent few months. Zdatny stated she intends to work together with her successor to make sure a easy transition.
Zdatny has steered the Vermont State Faculties System by a turbulent interval over the past three years.
In July, three of its establishments — Castleton College, Northern Vermont College and Vermont Technical Faculty — merged to type Vermont State College. The establishment welcomed its top quality of 1,400-plus college students this fall, hitting its enrollment targets and finalizing a course of that took most of Zdatny’s tenure.
The system’s trustees endorsed the consolidation plan in early 2021 as a method of stabilizing the unique faculties’ funds. Enrollment and finances deficit challenges had plagued the establishments.
Zdatny’s predecessor, Spaulding, had initially proposed closing some system establishments, together with Northern Vermont. The backlash in opposition to the thought was so sturdy that it led to his resignation.
The formation of Vermont State additionally got here with a big tuition reset, reducing the typical in-state sticker worth on the three merging establishments by 15% to $9,999. Nonetheless, a proposal to make the brand new college’s libraries “all-digital,” arguably overshadowed the official launch.
Vermont State scaled again the library plan in March after vital public outcry. College management paused it altogether, shortly after its driving pressure, President Parwinder Grewal, abruptly resigned in April.
Vermont State Faculties has but to exchange Grewal and now should do the identical for Zdatny.
Lynn Dickinson, chair of the system’s board, known as Zdatny’s forthcoming departure bittersweet.
“Three years in the past, the system was in a really difficult place,” Dickinson stated in an announcement. “Underneath Zdatny’s management, the system first stabilized, then developed and applied a strategic plan for the transformation of the universities.”
Underneath Zdatny, state funding for the system elevated by 57%, in accordance with Dickinson, who additionally serves as a Vermont state consultant. The end result — totaling over $300 million of state help since 2020 — allowed the system to finish the Vermont State merger, fund campus improvement and help pupil scholarships and workforce initiatives.
Zdatny praised her colleagues in her resignation announcement Monday.
“I’m extremely happy with the work we’ve undertaken collectively to stabilize the Vermont State Faculties and to set it on the trail of transformation to make sure public increased training stays accessible and reasonably priced in Vermont’s rural communities for generations to return,” she stated in an announcement.