The higher-education show Wednesday in the Statehouse offered something old and something new.
The old came in the form of the ritual appearances by top administrators before legislative appropriations committees. John Bramley, interim president of the University of Vermont, and Tim Donovan, chancellor of Vermont State Colleges, made modest annual requests for state financial support in the coming year: level funding.
For UVM, that’s $40,746,633, and for VSC, it’s $24,223,750 — same as what they’re getting in the current fiscal year, and same as the governor’s request. In both presentations, the numbers appeared at the end of PowerPoint handouts chock-full of enrollment statistics, data showing the institutions’ economic impact and so on. As usual, the PowerPoints included gentle reminders that Vermont’s past appropriations for higher education have been relatively wanting.
The new came in the form of a panel discussion titled “Innovation at the Vermont State Colleges,” highlighting novel programs at each of the five institutions — ranging from a new polling enterprise starting up at Castleton State College to ramped counseling services for veterans at Community College of Vermont.