Vermont State Colleges

Castleton University has faced layoffs, one of the moves made by the Vermont State Colleges System to combat falling enrollments.
Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Colleges throughout Vermont and New England are facing falling enrollments and rising costs. We're talking about how Vermont state colleges are dealing with this challenging combination.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers might have given nearly unanimous approval to the state budget last week, but not everyone is happy with the compromise package, and many advocates are now pushing Senate lawmakers to add millions of dollars in new spending on child care, state colleges, human-services programs and other services.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Public hearings Monday night on Gov. Phil Scott’s proposed budget showcased strong support for some of the new spending initiatives in the Republican’s plan. But advocates’ hopes for increased funding are about to meet with some harsh fiscal realities in Montpelier.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

An effort to boost public support for one of the most poorly-funded state college systems in the nation could go by the wayside if Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott can’t find a budget compromise.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

In fewer than two years, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College will join together as one school with two campuses. Talk of the unification plan has been circling around both campuses since the semester started.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

At its board meeting Thursday morning, the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to unify Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges into one school with "two distinctive campuses," starting in July 2018.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Vermont’s state college system got its first funding increase in nearly a decade this past legislative session. But the one-time appropriation won’t solve the institutions’ long-term money problems, and the colleges are running out of places to cut costs.

Castleton University plans to layoff an undisclosed number of staff later this year, as the school grapples with a budget shortfall.
Jared C. Benedict / Wikimedia Commons

Tuition for the Vermont State College system ranks as the second highest in the country for in-state students in public four-year colleges. We're talking about the funding challenges for public higher education here in Vermont. The legislature is tackling the issue this year; and not for the first time. We'll also look further afield and see how other states around the country fund higher ed.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

It’s been nearly a decade since lawmakers increased base funding for the Vermont state college system, and critics say the resulting hikes in tuition are pricing many local kids out of higher education. New legislation would help solve the colleges’ revenue problem, but the proposal still has to win approval from key money committees.

Vermont's state college system is changing a policy that allows senior citizens to attend classes free of charge.

Vermont Interactive Technologies ceased operations last month at all 17 of its sites that had been used for job training, distance learning, bankruptcy proceedings, public hearings and more. Now, a plan for the state's public access TV stations to provide some of the service may be too late.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

Vermont Higher Education System. Vermont State Higher Education System. Vermont State College and University System … On second thought, “Vermont State Colleges” works just fine.

Hilary Niles for VPR

“Vermont State Colleges” refers to the state's public institutions for higher education: the Community College of Vermont, Johnson and Lyndon State Colleges, and the newly renamed Castleton University. But, what’s in a name? The chancellor and trustees are finding out, as they consider re-naming the state college system.

Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle is widely known as Vermont's longest-serving state senator. The Republican has kept his seat warm in the Vermont Senate since 1969. And for nearly as long, Doyle, who is also a professor at Johnson State College, has invited politicians to come speak to students enrolled in his Vermont politics course.

DragonImages / iStock

Vermont has signed an agreement that will make it easier for colleges and universities to offer online courses across state lines. Currently that interstate approval process can be cumbersome, but now it’s getting streamlined.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

This month, thousands of Vermont teenagers are earning their high school degrees. But while the state does an unusually good job of getting its students through high school, fewer than half of them will go on to get a post-secondary degree. The Vermont State College system is working to change that.

Johnson State College has chosen its next president. On Wednesday the Vermont State College Board of Trustees voted to hire Dr. Elaine Collins, who is now Dean and Chief Operating Officer of the College of Education at Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The president of Vermont Technical College told eight faculty members Monday that their positions will be eliminated July 31, 2015, at the end of the school year. 

VTC President Dan Smith said the need for the job cuts became apparent when the fall enrollment numbers showed  revenue would not support the existing faculty.

Low enrollment was to blame for a round of non-instructional staff cuts in April as well.

But Smith said falling enrollment shouldn't lead to lay-offs at the state's public colleges.

The incoming chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges says not to expect significant new funding for higher education in the state.

Spaulding told VPR’s Vermont Edition this week that his background in state finances isn’t enough to change level of support the state gives to higher ed. Spaulding acknowledges that Vermont consistently ranks low among the 50 states in the level of state funding for public colleges and universities, but he says the reality of the state budget means there won’t be a major infusion of new money into the Vermont State Colleges this year.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

The Vermont State College system’s board of trustees appointed Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Secretary of Administration, Jeb Spaulding, as the new chancellor of the state’s public college system, officials announced today.