The University of Vermont


Office of the President


September 2, 2004




TO:                  University of Vermont Students


FROM:             Daniel Mark Fogel, President


RE:                   Convocation 2004


On the afternoon of September 9, at 3:30 p.m. at the Ira Allen Chapel we will continue a tradition at the University of Vermont by offering an opening Convocation. I am writing to invite you to join us for Convocation as the University begins its 203rd academic year—one of the most significant in the University’s history.


This institution has embarked on a course that over the next decade will position it as the nation’s premier small public research university. The plan unanimously endorsed by the Board of Trustees in May will gradually increase undergraduate enrollment, over the next nine years, by 23% over last year’s level, and graduate enrollment by 42%, with emphasis on Ph.D. students. At the same time, we will add 80 faculty in order to maintain a faculty/student ratio of 16:1, and 50 research faculty in order to support research growth. The plan also calls for new and renovated buildings, including a state-of-the-art student center, attractive residence halls, and new classroom, lab, and office facilities.


At Convocation, Provost and Senior Vice President A. John Bramley and I will speak in order to set the stage for a campus-wide dialogue we hope will engage students, faculty, and staff throughout the year. That dialogue will revolve around significant questions that can best be answered through open, honest, participatory exploration of what the liberal arts should be at UVM in the 21st century; of the best ways for our University to develop its commitment to environmental leadership in teaching, in research; and in institutional practices; of the areas in which our priority on health and biomedical sciences should focus; of how we can best fulfill our role in the intellectual, cultural, social, and economic well-being of our region as Vermont’s only research institution; and, above all, on how we can ensure that students at the University of Vermont have an outstanding educational experience here.


I look forward to having you join the University of Vermont community in celebrating the beginning of our academic year at Convocation 2004—and to hearing your thoughts about the pressing questions we will be considering throughout the new academic year.  A reception will follow the ceremony in the Billings Student Center.