Serving Students By Securing The Future Of The Vermont State Colleges System
A call to action.
To secure its future, the VSCS must proactively confront the urgent challenges facing institutions of higher education. It must first acknowledge those challenges. Then, it must confidently and carefully make plans for the future that double-down on its mission of service to Vermont.
For the benefit of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges System provides affordable, high quality, student-centered, and accessible education, fully integrating professional, liberal, and career study, consistent with student aspirations and regional and state needs.
“Secure the Future” Project.
The Long Range Planning Committee of the VSCS Board of Trustees is undertaking a critical initiative to generate strategic actions to ensure our colleges and universities will not merely survive, but thrive. It will propose actions and innovations to support vibrant, accessible, affordable education for Vermonters that is relevant to their careers and the economy of the future, and that will bring long-term financial sustainability for the VSC System.
The Long Range Planning Committee has reviewed the challenges, potential solutions, and held extensive input sessions. Next steps are outlined in an October 28, 2019 memo, which include reporting from our institutions about their efforts to Secure the Future, as well as Board committee work to review and potentially accelerate system wide initiatives.
Acting with a sense of urgency about our mission.
The challenges bearing down on institutions of higher education in Vermont and in the region are very real and immediate. The Chancellor laid these out explicitly in a white paper that incorporated feedback from our colleges and from the broader community. If we do not confront these challenges, they will threaten our ability to continue providing access to post-secondary education across this state.
The System is well-poised for this initiative, with strong leaders, a statewide presence, close connections with Vermont’s employers and local communities, and a strong sense of our mission to serve the State.
What are we hoping to accomplish?
Long term financial sustainability that supports a thriving statewide public system of higher education is imperative. While we seek solutions, we will stay focused on supporting post-secondary educational opportunities that are accessible to more Vermonters to support their futures and the future of our State.
What do we risk by inaction?
We risk curtailing our mission because we will not have focused our efforts to align what we do for students with the resources we have. Our colleges and universities are on the front line tackling demographic challenges, pricing competition, changing needs of students and the workforce, and low state support. Without systemwide and institution-level strategies to secure our future, we risk our ability to sustain our current offerings and infrastructure, and we will miss critical opportunities to deliver what students need now and into the future.
For more information about the project, please see the links above.
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