While Sullivan is pleased with the student body, he admits there's room for improvement on campus.
"We want to have a very candid, robust conversation about where our strengths are, where are our weaknesses, what are the comparative advantages UVM had," he said.
The former University of Minnesota vice president is in the process of outlining and launching his "first thousand day plan" for UVM. Slowing down the average annual 4.8 percent tuition increase tops his list.
"I want to see if we can moderate the growth of that tuition and make sure we had a very significant robust financial aid and scholarships to lighten the burden on our students," he said.
Sullivan says the university must carefully prioritize its resources, stressing that stronger compensation for professors will be key to preventing a "brain drain." And that an enhanced focus on science, technology, engineering and math is also important.
"It will make sense for us to look very carefully at new investments in those stem fields, not only because we're very strong academically and research, but because there are job potentials for our students," Sullivan said.
The one-time professor says that improved facilities at UVM go hand in hand with improving the quality of work and research happening on campus.
"We have to make sure these talented individuals have the very best facilities, and quite frankly, in some areas we're behind because of deferred maintenance," he said.
Sullivan's already met with members of Vermont's congressional delegation and Gov. Peter Shumlin and knows those relationships could be key to figuring out how to pay for his plans. He's also sharing a key question with the folks running to be Vermont's next governor: "How can we strengthen and promote the relationship between the University of Vermont and the citizens of Vermont?"
A bond Sullivan knows will be key as he envisions UVM 10 years down the road.
"In that period of time hope people will say boy, University of Vermont has really elevated the quality and excellence of that university," he said.
Sullivan says a major fundraising campaign is also in the works to help pay for new initiatives.
A few financial facts on UVM: The total cost of attendance for Vermont students for tuition, room and board and other fees is roughly $28,000 and out-of-state students are paying about $49,000.
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:39 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:39:09 GMT
"Awesome -- I lost it when I finished I have to say, but it was great. It was great," said Amy Sullivan. The 2013 Boston Marathon runner was all smiles as she and 450 other runners crossed the finishMore >>
A race in southern Vermont Sunday gave runners who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon a second chance at the finish line.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:38 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:38:13 GMT
They come from all over the state and wait in line for hours. "It's become sort of a yearly event for us. We've been doing it for eight or nine years now -- we're having a blast," said Ed Sayers ofMore >>
Dozens of drivers gathered in Chelsea for a record setting road rally -- full of riddles that keep drivers and passengers on their toes.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:36:52 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:28:28 GMT
Fire destroyed a barn in Clinton County, New York Sunday morning.It happened in the town of Mooers. Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30More >>
Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30 a.m.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:27:13 GMT
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.It happened on a stretch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River in the town of Dummer. Officials say Keith Whitten, 58, was paddling with his wifeMore >>
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:26 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:26:39 GMT
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.Last week the Middlebury company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against South Burlington-based Woodchuck Coffee RoastersMore >>
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 8:17 PM EDT2013-05-20 00:17:27 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>