Vermont State Colleges

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Merger of Johnson, Lyndon State Colleges approved

MONTPELIER — The Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to merge Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges into a single institution with separate campuses. Thursday’s vote followed preliminary approval from the board in July. Officials say merging the two colleges will expand opportunities for students and improve finances within the state college system. “Unification will create new academic and experiential opportunities for students, a bigger and more diverse faculty environment, advantages for recruiting new students and a significantly strengthened financial foundation,” VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding told the board. “They are pivotal institutions in their regions and they are beloved by their alumni, faculty, staff and current students. Continue Reading →

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Galbraith outlines free tuition plan at Vermont State Colleges

MONTPELIER — Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Peter Galbraith released a plan Tuesday to cover the cost of a college education for Vermont students at state colleges by eliminating nearly $50 million in tax breaks and loopholes. Galbraith, a former diplomat and state senator from Windham County, revealed his plan outside of the Community College of Vermont Tuesday afternoon, declaring that “higher education should be a right, not a burden for young Vermonters.”

He said the plan would provide four years of free tuition at all of the Vermont State Colleges for all graduates of Vermont high schools who meet the academic requirements for admission. It would also provide free or reduced tuition at the University of Vermont for high school graduates who meet the income criteria to be eligible for Pell Grants. The total cost of providing free higher education is estimated to be $29 million, Galbraith said. The program would be paid for by eliminating tax breaks and raising the minimum wage, a key plank in Galbraith’s economic agenda. Continue Reading →

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VSC seeks more state funds, expects little

MONTPELIER — The Vermont State Colleges system is looking for $4 million in state funding for capital projects, a fraction of the $62 million in deferred maintenance across the college system. Thursday afternoon, the VSC Finance and Facilities Committee adopted a resolution to ask the Legislature for the money to make a host of repairs across the five colleges, but the panel expressed skepticism the system will receive anywhere near the amount being requested. “We do this, knowingly,” said committee Chairman Churchill Hindes. “We don’t have starry eyes and unrealistic expectations.”

Hindes and others are skeptical because, for a number of years now, VSC trustees have requested $4 million from the Legislature and each time received $1.4 million. With that track record in mind, college officials say the alternative is to assess fees on students to pay for the most necessary projects. Continue Reading →

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