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I invite others to write letters to the editor and send copies to President Fogel and the UVM Board of Trustees. Here is my letter:
           Elise Guyette

Dear Editor of the Burlington Free Press:

 

I am saddened that the University of Vermont has chosen to fund three new transdisciplinary ´spires,ˇ while gutting the original one that has existed at the university for thirty-five years (April 17th ´University of Vermont chooses 'spires of excellence'ˇ). I refer to the Center for Research on Vermont (CRV) that has supported research on our state for decades, created a Vermont Studies minor, and has members of various disciplines statewide as well as nationally. One administrative assistant, a full-time staff person, and a part-time faculty member have kept CRV running. However, the university recently eliminated the administrative assistant. In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences, where the center has been housed for decades, directed the center to find another home!  Placing focused investments "on a few spiresˇ obviously does not include supporting transdisciplinary research on the state in which they reside.

 

President Fogel often speaks about UVM as being on the world stage, however that stage is not floating in space; it is rooted in the state of Vermont. They speak of the ´land-grant missionˇ of the university, but show little respect for the work of CRV, an interdisciplinary network of scholars with various constituencies, including Vermont students, social agencies, state government, museums, and the general public. Speaking of the land-grant mission is nothing but lip service, as they gut a perfect example of this mission and make CRV a homeless wonderer on the campus. I hope that when the Board of Trustees studies the plan in May, they restore the Center for Research on Vermont to its full capacity and find it a welcoming home on the campus before they grant authority for the university to move ahead with new spires.

 

Sincerely, 

Elise A. Guyette

 cc: President Fogel

UVM Board of Trustees