YCQM: April 14, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: April 14, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS DAVE FINNEY, THE PRESIDENT OF CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE AND HE JUST ANNOUNCED HE WILL BE LEAVING AT EIGHT YEARS AT THE SCHOOL, BUT STILL A LONG TRANSITION PERIOD. YOU'RE GOING TO BE THERE OVER A YEAR. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU. GOOD TO BE HERE.

>> AND JOINING US IS OUR EDUCATION REPORTER, KEITH McGILVERY.

>> YOU'RE SAYING YOU'RE STEPPING DOWN IN PART BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO GET IN THE WAY OF THE SCHOOL'S MOMENTUM. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

>> I'VE BEEN THERE EIGHT YEARS, BY THE TIME I LEAVE, IT WILL BE NINE YEARS AND A LOT HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST NINE YEARS. I THINK THE MOST FRAGILE COMMODITY ANY ORGANIZATION CAN HAVE IS FORWARD MOMENTUM AND CHAMPLAIN HAS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF MOMENTUM AND SO I DON'T -- I DON'T WANT TO GET IN THE POSITION WHERE I BECOME MORE WEDDED TO THE PAST THAN THE FUTURE, AND THE LONGER YOU'RE THERE, THE GREATER THAT DANGER IS, I THINK. SO I THINK IT'S TIME FOR ME TO TURN THE PAGE AND LET SOMEONE ELSE JUMP ON A FAST-MOVING TRAIN AND KEEP IT GOING EVEN FASTER.

>> DO IDEAS GET STALE? I MEAN, YOU SAID YOU'VE SEEN THIS HAPPEN AT OTHER INSTITUTIONS WHERE PEOPLE JUST STAY TOO LONG.

>> YES. I THINK IDEAS GET STALE AND THERE'S AN ASPECT OF RUNNING AN ORGANIZATION WHERE, AS TIME GOES BY, YOU KIND OF OWN MORE AND MORE OF IT. YOU KNOW, MENTALLY. IN TERMS OF THE ACTIVITIES THAT THE ORGANIZATION IS ENGAGED IN, SO WITH ME, I'VE BEEN THERE A LONG ENOUGH TIME THAT MUCH OF WHAT IS GOING ON BEGAN AFTER I STARTED. AND SO I DON'T FEEL YET THAT I'M, THAT I'M SLOWING IT DOWN, BUT I RECOGNIZE THE POSSIBILITY THAT I MIGHT, AND CHAMPLAIN IS JUST TOO GOOD OF AN INSTITUTION TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. SO I THINK THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR ME TO EFFECT A CHANGE.

>> YOU SAY THE SCHOOL IS BUILDING MOMENTUM O THIS TRAIN. BUILDING MOMENTUM TO WHAT?

>> TO BE EVEN BETTER AT WHAT WE DO, AND WE PROVIDE THE MOST COMPLETE, BEST EDUCATION WE CAN WITH AN EYE TOWARD BEING AN ECONOMIC ENGINE FOR VERMONT AND THIS REGION, AND WE TRY TO KEEP THAT REALLY CLEARLY IN FOCUS.

>> I TALKED TO COLLEGE PRESIDENTS ALL THE TIME AT MY EDUCATION BEAT AND THEY ARE ALL HUGE CHEERLEADERS FOR THEIR SCHOOLS. YOU SAY CHAMPLAIN OFFERS THE MOST COMPLETE ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE IN ALL OF HIGHER EDUCATION. THAT'S A BOLD STATEMENT. WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

>> A LOT OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN TERMS OF THE CURRICULUM THAT'S OFFERED TO STUDENTS REALLY LOOKS THE SAME, AND IN THE CASE OF CHAMPLAIN, OURS IS ACTUALLY QUITE DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT. IT'S GOT THREE DISTINCT COMPONENTS TO IT. THE FIRST IS THAT EVERYBODY MAJORS IN A PROFESSIONALLY FOCUSED PROGRAM. WE DON'T OFFER A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE, WE DON'T OFFER ANY LIBERAL ARTS DEGREES. EVERYTHING IS PROFESSIONALLY FOCUSED, SO WE OFFER A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE, BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS DEGREES. SO WHEN STUDENTS COMMIT TO CHAMPLAIN, THEY ALREADY HAVE IN SOME WAYS FOCUSED THEMSELVES, AND THEY MAY NOT KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT SPECIFIC AREA OF BUSINESS IF THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE PURSUING, THEY MAY NOT KNOW SPECIFICALLY WHAT AREA THEY WANT TO GO INTO, BUT THEY THINK THEY WANT TO GO GENERALLY INTO BUSINESS. SO WE CAN TAKE THAT, THAT AREA OF INTEREST AND GIVE THEM A GOOD PROGRAM IN IT THAT INVOLVES SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND ACTUAL WORK EXPERIENCE, WHICH IS CRUCIAL TO THEM GETTING THEIR FIRST JOB. BUT WE DON'T DESCRIBE OURSELVES AS A JOB-ORIENTED COLLEGE. WE TALK ABOUT OURSELVES AS BEING CAREER AND PROFESSIONALLY ORIENTED, AND THAT IS A MUCH LONGER HORIZON, SO THE QUESTION THAT I ASKED UPON ARRIVAL WAS WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THAT? WHAT ARE WE DOING TO GET STUDENTS READY, AND IS WHAT WE'RE DOING THE BEST ANSWER WE CAN CRAFT? AND SO THAT LED TO AN ANSWER OF NO WITH RESPECT TO OUR GENERAL STUDIES REQUIREMENTS, AND SO WE RECONCEPTUALIZED THAT AND WE DEVELOPED A FOUR-YEAR INTEGRATED LIBERAL ARTS CORE THAT ALL OUR UNDERGRADUATES TAKE. AND IT IS ROBUST AND IT IS CHALLENGING AND DIFFICULT, AND IT REALLY HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THEM. STUDENTS READ ORIGINAL TEXTS, FRESHMEN READ PLATO, THEY WRITE PAPERS AND THEN THEY WRITE MORE AND MORE PAPERS. FIRST SEMESTER FRESHMEN WRITE OVER 20 PAPERS. IT'S VERY INTENSE. SO FOR CAREER-FOCUSED STUDENTS, THAT IS VERY DIFFERENT. WE DESCRIBE THE VALUE TO THEM IN CAREER TERMS, BUT IN FACT, THE VALUE CAN BE DESCRIBED ALSO IN LIFE TERMS BECAUSE IT'S HARD TO CONCEIVE OF SOMEBODY HAVING A REALLY HIGHLY EFFECTIVE CAREER IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE WITHOUT LIVING AN EFFECTIVE LIFE. AND THE ABILITY TO READ AND ANALYZE CAREFULLY, TO HAVE A CRITICAL EYE ON IT, TO EXPOSE THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS OF SOMEONE'S ARGUMENT, SYNTHESIZE THOSE IN A PAPER AND COMMUNICATE IT EFFECTIVELY, THOSE ARE ALL SKILLS THAT COMPANIES CRAVE. AND THE THIRD COMPONENT OF WHAT HAPPENS IS WHAT WE CALL LIFE SKILLS, OUR LEAD PROGRAM. AND IT COMES FROM AN OBSERVATION THAT WHEN MANY STUDENTS LEAVE COLLEGE, THEY REALLY DON'T HAVE MUCH OF AN IDEA ABOUT HOW TO ACTUALLY LIVE A LIFE, YOU KNOW. SHOULD THEY BUY A CAR, SHOULD THEY LEASE A CAR? WHAT SHOULD THEY LOOK FOR IN A LEASE WHEN THEY SIGN THEIR FIRST APARTMENT LEASE? HOW DO THEY KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY THEY SHOULD BE PUTTING AWAY FOR RETIMER, ALL THOSE KIND DRN RETIREMENT, ALL THOSE KIND OF QUESTIONS, SO WE RUN A SERIES DESIGNED TO LEARN THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF THOSE.

>> I THINK YOU CALL IT FINANCIAL EDUCATION AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT CAMPUSES AREN'T DOING ENOUGH OF.

>> NO. YOU WILL FIND A FEW CAMPUSES THAT HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT, YOU WILL HAVE A FEW CAMPUSES THAT HAVE AN INTERDISCIPLINARY LIBERAL ARTS CORK BUT YOU WON'T FIND ANY CAMPUS THAT I KNOW OF AT LEAST OTHER THAN CHAMPLAIN THAT HAS THE WHOLE GAMUT. AND I THINK IT'S A DEFINITIVE ANSWER FOR CHAMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT IS THE MOST COMPLETE EDUCATION THAT WE CAN OFFER TO ENSURE SUCCESS FOR OUR STUDENTS OVER THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES. AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING. IT'S RESONATING WITH FAMILIES, IT'S RESONATING WITH EMPLOYERS WHO LOVE TO HIRE OUR GRADUATES.

>> SO AS YOU MENTIONED, CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE IS GROWING. IS IT GROWING TOO FAST? ARE THERE CONCERNS THAT THERE'S NOT GOING TO BE ENOUGH HOUSING AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS NEXT YEAR?

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S GROWING IN REPUTATION. IT'S NOT REALLY GROWING ENROLLMENT WISE. WE'VE COMMITTED AND WE COMMITTED PUBLICLY TO THE CITY THAT WE WILL REMAIN A COLLEGE OF 2,000 TRADITIONAL UNDERGRADUATES. WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH BEDS TO HOUSE 2,000 UNDERGRADUATES. WE HISTORICALLY HAVE RELIED ON APARTMENTS IN THE CITY AND ALSO RELIED ON UPPER CLASSMEN WANTS TO LIVE IN APARTMENTS IN THE CITY. THAT CONTINUES TO WORK PRETTY WELL. WE RECENTLY HAD OUR HOUSING LOTTERY. I THINK WE HAVE 37 CONTINUING STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT YET BEEN ASSIGNED A BED. THEY'RE ALL GOING TO GET A BED, AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S A LITTLE BIT TENSE FOR SOME OF THEM, BUT WE'VE TOLD THEM ALL THEY'RE GOING TO BE HOUSED. WE WILL HAVE ROOM, IT'S JUST A MATTER OF THE PROCESS, SORT OF ROLLING OUT.

>> JUST SO I UNDERSTAND, THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS YOU RELY ON SOME APARTMENTS, SOME HOUSE, BUT RIGHT NOW THERE ARE 37 STUDENTS WHO DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY WILL BE STAYING.

>> THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY WILL BE IN SEPTEMBER. WITHIN TWO WEEKS, THEY WILL KNOW.

>> AND WHERE DO YOU THINK THEY WILL BE GOING?

>> THEY WILL BE ON CAMPUS. WHAT HAPPENS IS SOME STUDENTS WHO HAVE LOTTERIED INTO ROOMS ARE LOOKING FOR APARTMENTS AND THEY WILL LOCATE APARTMENTS IN THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS. IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR US, IT HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE YEAR. THIS YEAR ACTUALLY HAS BEEN QUITE A BIT SMOOTHER THAN SOME YEARS WE'VE HAD IN THE PAST.

>> YOU WALK THE CAMPUS AND ANYONE WHO WALKS OR DRIVES BY SEEMS CONSTRUCTION. SEEMS LIKE ALL THE TIME, YOU'RE PUTTING UP TWO NEW DORMS, THAT STARTED RELATIVELY RECENTLY. I SPOKE TO SOME STUDENTS WHO SAID THE HOUSING IS GREAT BUT YOU RISK LOSING THAT OPEN FACE AND THAT FEEL AND IN ADDITION, YOU'RE LOSING STUDENT PARKING. ARE YOU DOING THIS THE RIGHT WAY?

>> WELL, WE THINK WE ARE. IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN GO BACK AND QUESTION, BUT WE THINK WE ARE. AT THE MOMENT, ALL STUDENT PARKING IS OFF CAMPUS. THEY PARK DOWN BY OUR LAKESIDE BUILDING AND ACROSS IN THE GILBANE LOTS. AND THE PARKING IS GOING AWAY. THE PARKING IS GOING OFF THE HOOD, FROM -- OFF THE HILL, FROM A SORT OF CITY-WIDE PERSPECTIVE, PARTICULARLY FOR PEOPLE WHO LIVE ON THE HILL, THAT'S A GOOD THING. IT REDUCES TRAFFIC. WE ARE A CAMPUS WHERE IT'S POSSIBLE TO WALK EVERYWHERE ON CAMPUS, AND SO HAVING FEWER CARS ON THE HILL, WE THINK, IS GENERALLY A GOOD THING. IN FACT, INCREASING NUMBERS OF EMPLOYEES ARE PARKING DOWN THERE AND WILL PARK DOWN THERE AND WE'LL RUN THE SHUTTLE BUS BACK AND FORTH. THE LESSENING OF WIDE-OPEN SPACES, WELL, YEAH, THE WIDE-OPEN SPACES ARE PARKING LOTS. THEY WILL BE TURNED INTO GREEN SPACES AND WE THINK SPACES THAT ARE ACTUALLY A LOT NICER, ALBEIT WITH SOME BUILDINGS ADDED. OVERALL, WE'VE BEEN HAPPY WITH THE PROGRESS WE'VE MADE ON IMPLEMENTING OUR CAMPUS MASTER PLAN. WE'RE PICKING NEW THINGS OFF ONE BY ONE AS CONTEMPLATED AND WE THINK IN GENERAL, THAT WE -- WE'RE DEVELOPING A CAMPUS THAT'S MORE SORT OF RIGHT-SIZED TO THE 2,000 STUDENTS WE HAVE, BUT ALSO SENSITIVE TO THE HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD WE'RE IN, WHICH ARE THE TENSIONS WE TRY TO WRESTLE WITH.

>> WE'VE SEEN RESIDENCE HALLS AT UVM HAVE TAKEN QUITE A HIT FOR THEIR VISUAL APPEARANCE RECENTLY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE SURE THAT AS YOU GROW AND EXPAND, THAT IT REALLY MOLDS INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD?

>> WE TRY TO INSIST ON ARCHITECTURE THAT REALLY BLENDS IN, AND YOU CAN -- YOU CAN SEE RIGHT ON WILLARD STREET, OUR NEWEST RESIDENCE HALL, IT'S GOT THE DORMERS ON IT, IT'S GOT A LOOK THAT'S DESIGNED TO FIT INTO AN HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD, WHICH IS OUR GREATEST ASSET TOO. BUT ON THE BACK SIDE OF IT, IT READS TO BE QUITE A LOT MORE CONTEMPORARY, AND THAT WILL FACE WHAT BECOMES AN INTERNAL RESIDENTIAL QUADRANGLE, AND SO IT IS A MIX OF SORT OF THE OLD AND MODERN, BUT DESIGNED TO COMPLEMENT THE NEIGHBORHOOD RATHER THAN DETRACT FROM IT. AND IT -- I CAN'T TELL YOU THE HOURS WE'VE SPENT REALLY TALKING ABOUT THAT, TRYING TO DO -- TRYING TO EXECUTE BUILDINGS THAT REALLY ADD TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. GENERALLY SPEAKING, I THINK WE GET PRETTY GOOD MARKS IN THAT REGARD.

>> ALL RIGHT. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BRIEF BREAK AND CONTINUE OUR INTERVIEW THTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTH

>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE TALKING TO DAVE FINNEY. HE'S THE PRESIDENT OF CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE AND HAS ANNOUNCED HE WILL BE LEAVING IN ABOUT 15 MONTHS. MR. FINNEY, WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF CHAMPLAIN?

>> WOW. I HADN'T -- I'M -- I HADN'T THOUGHT ABOUT IT. PERHAPS I'M TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT. YOU KNOW, I THINK MY ADVICE WOULD BE SIMPLY THAT YOU ARE ENTERING A SPECTACULAR COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY DEEPLY ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING THE NEXT GENERATION READY FOR A COMPLICATED WORLD, AND THAT, THAT IS A JOB THAT'S NEVER DONE, WHICH MEANS THERE'S ALWAYS A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE, BUT IT'S DONE AT CHAMPLAIN IN THE CONTEXT OF A PRETTY FIRM INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT TO A SET OF -- TO A SET OF VALUES THAT HAVE STOOD THE INSTITUTION WELL FOR A LONG TIME. SO I WOULD URGE THEM TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE CULTURE AT CHAMPLAIN, EVEN WHILE SHAPING IT TO BETTER MEET THE FUTURE NEEDS. IT'S A COMPLICATED TASK.

>> THAT INDIVIDUAL, REGARDLESS OF WHO HE OR SHE MAY BE IS COMING AT A TIME WHERE YOUR ADMISSIONS OFFICE HAS SEEN SOME REALLY HUGE NUMBERS, I MEAN, BETWEEN 2011 AND 2012, APPLICATIONS HAVE JUMPED 70%. I KNOW THAT'S AN ADMISSION DIRECTOR'S DREAM AT MOST INSTITUTIONS. HOW ARE YOU DOING IT?

>> YOU KNOW, IT'S -- IT'S A COMBINATION OF THINGS. I MEAN, WE TRY TO MARKET THE INSTITUTION AGGRESSIVELY, BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT PEOPLE HAVE TO BE READY FOR THE MESSAGE AND THE RECESSION THAT OCCURRED IN 2000 AND -- THE END OF 2007 THROUGH 2008, I THINK CHANGED THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE ABOUT HIGHER EDUCATION AND CAUSED MORE FAMILIES TO REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER COLLEGE, AND TO THE EXTENT THAT THAT CONVERSATION SHIFTED, IT HELPED CHAMPLAIN. WE HAD PUT IN THE CORE CURRICULUM AND THE LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM, SO WE WERE KIND OF KEYED UP FOR THOSE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS THAT FAMILIES HAVE AND AS OUR MARKETING MATERIALS ROLL OUT, THE RESPONSE JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER.

>> EIGHT YEARS, WHAT HASN'T WORKED OUT THE WAY THAT YOU WOULD HAVE HOPED IT HAD?

>> OH, BOY, NOT MUCH. I TELL YOU, MY HOPES AND DREAMS --

>> THERE'S GOT TO BE SOMETHING, COME ON.

>> YOU KNOW, I WENT BACK AND I REREAD MY INAUGURATION ADDRESS BACK IN 2005, AND IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, IT'S ALL THERE. YOU KNOW, AND WE HAVE MADE PROGRESS ON EVERYTHING I CONTEMPLATED. WE HAVE NOW JUST A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF OF OUR UNDERGRADUATES STUDYING ABROAD. I'D LIKE THAT TO BE HIGHER. I'D LIKE IT TO BE 100%, WHICH IS A REALLY LOFTY GOAL AND SOME COLLEGES ARE GETTING THERE. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO EXPERIENCE OTHER VIEWPOINTS AND OTHER CULTURES AS PART OF THEIR EDUCATION. ONE OF OUR GOALS WAS TO BECOME A MORE DIVERSE INSTITUTION. WE'VE MADE PROGRESS ON THAT. WE REMAIN INSUFFICIENTLY DIVERSE. WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO PUSH ON THAT FRONT.

>> WHAT IS THE RIGHT BALANCE THAT YOU WANT TO HAVE WHEN IT COMES TO THE DIVERSITY ISSUE IN CHAMPLAIN AND WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?

>> I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY CLASSROOM HAS A LOT OF DIFFERENT VOICES IN IT, AND THAT WOULD BE GEOGRAPHIC DIVERSITY, RACIAL/ETHNIC DIVERSITY, SOCIOECONOMIC DIVERSITY, AND WE NOW ARE GETTING STUDENTS, FRESHMEN CLASS WE EXPECT WILL BE FROM ABOUT 38 OR 40 STATES. THAT'S FINE, WE'D LIKE 50. WE ARE GOING TO ENROLL STUDENTS THIS FALL FROM PROBABLY 25 TO 35 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. WE'D LIKE THAT TO BE 100 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.

>> WHAT ABOUT GENDER DIVERSITY? A UNIQUE PICTURE AT CHAMPLAIN, A NUMBER OF HIGHER ED SUBSTITUTIONS ARE PREDOMINANTLY FEMALE. IT'S THE OPPOSITE FOR YOU FOLKS, 60% MALE IN THE CLASSROOMS. WHY IS THAT?

>> IT HAS TO DO WITH THE PROGRAM MIX. AS THE DAD OF TWO DAUGHTERS, AT SOME LEVEL I HAVE TO SAY IT MAKES ME DEEPLY UNHAPPY THAT STEREOTYPES ARE STILL CONTROLLING A LOT OF THIS. WHEN YOU OFFER PROGRAMS IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, IT'S MOSTLY GUYS. WHEN YOU'RE OFFERING PROGRAMS IN EDUCATION, IT'S MOSTLY WOMEN. IDEALLY, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE THAT, IT WOULD BE 50-50. WE CONTINUE TO PUSH TO ENROLL THE BEST STUDENTS THAT WE CAN AND TO THE EXTENT THAT WE CAN DO THAT AND GET MORE OF THEM TO BE WOMEN, THAT'S A HIGH PRIORITY AND WE'RE REALLY PUSHING ON THAT FRONT TO TRY TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. WE THINK THAT THAT IS A LEVEL OF DIVERSITY THAT WE NEED SOME GROWTH IN AS WELL. SO WE -- IT'S A COMPLICATED MIX, BUT IN GENERAL, I THINK IF YOU CREATE CLASSROOMS WHERE YOU HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS COMING TOGETHER, IT IS ALMOST BY DEFINITION JUST A RICHER EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE. AND SO THAT IS THE GOAL. IT MAKES IT A BETTER EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED IF WE CAN DO THAT.

>> YOU'VE BEEN IN VERMONT FOR EIGHT YEARS, YOU CAME FROM NEW YORK. I KNOW IT'S UNCLEAR WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO DO AFTER YOU'RE DONE WITH YOUR TIME AT CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE, ANOTHER YEAR AND A HALF OR SO. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT VERMONT MAYBE AS AN OUTSIDER LOOKING IN THAT THE STATE NEEDS TO DO BETTER WHEN IT COMES TO HIGHER EDUCATION AND PREPARING KIDS FOR THE FUTURE? EITHER FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO COLLEGE OR COLLEGE TO THE JOB.

>> WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT TURNS OUT, PARTICULARLY IN LIGHT OF THE MELTDOWN IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN PLACES LIKE CALIFORNIA, THAT I ACTUALLY THINK VERMONT IS DOING THIS PRETTY WELL FROM A STATEWIDE PERSPECTIVE. NOW, MY COLLEAGUES AT THE STATE COLLEGES AND AT THE UNIVERSITY WOULD SAY THAT THEY ARE UNDERFUNDED, AND BY ANY NATIONAL MEASURE, THEY CERTAINLY ARE. BUT THOSE STATES THAT HAVE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS WHERE THE FUNDING WAS AT AVERAGE OR BETTER THAN AVERAGE HAVE EXPERIENCED ENORMOUS CONTRACTION AND ENORMOUS FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES THAT THE VERMONT PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS HAVE LARGELY BEEN SPARED, SO THERE'S A TRADE-OFF WITH THAT INCREASING LEVEL OF STATE FUNDING WHEN THINGS GET TIGHT, YOU'RE GOING TO GET CUT, AND THAT HAS NOT BEEN PART OF THE PICTURE IN VERMONT COMPARED TO OTHER PLACES. WITH RESPECT TO THE WHOLE SYSTEM STATEWIDE, IT'S ROBUST, IT'S VIBRANT, THERE ARE A LOT OF REALLY FASCINATING AND INTERESTING SMALL PRIVATE COLLEGES IN VERMONT THAT ARE COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO THIS STATE AND ITS CULTURE. IT REALLY IS WONDERFUL. I MEAN, IT'S A GREAT ASSET FOR THE STATE.

>> MAY 1st IS COMING UP, DECISION TIME FOR MOMS, DADS, HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS OUT THERE DECIDING WHERE THEY WILL GO TO SCHOOL.

>> YES.

>> AFFORDABILITY A HUGE ISSUE FOR MANY OF THEM.

>> YES.

>> WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN REGARDS TO PAYING THEIR WAY THROUGH COLLEGE, WHETHER OR NOT THEY END UP AT CHAMPLAIN OR ELSEWHERE? WHAT MAKES IT FINANCIALLY, YOU KNOW, DOABLE?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK THE STUDENT IS OBLIGATED TO TELL THEIR PARENTS WHERE THEY WOULD LIKE TO GO AND WHERE THEY WOULD GO IF THEY COULDN'T ATTEND THEIR FIRST CHOICE, AND THEN I THINK PARENTS AND STUDENTS HAVE TO SIT DOWN AND REALLY LOOK AT COLLEGE AS AN INVESTMENT, AND IS IT -- DOES IT APPEAR TO BE WORTH IT IN TERMS OF THE OUTCOMES THAT YOU'RE GOING TO RECEIVER -- RECEIVE VERSUS WHAT YOU'RE PUTTING INTO IT. I THINK THE WHOLE QUESTION OF THE VALUE OF A COLLEGE DEGREE IS UNDER ATTACK AND IT'S A REAL QUESTION AND PARENTS NEED TO TRY TO APPROACH IT, I THINK N A PRETTY SOPHISTICATED WAY AND ANYTHING OUT IF A DEGREE IN A CERTAIN FIELD IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT THEY'RE MAKING IN THAT INSTITUTION.

>> WE SEE SO MANY KIDS GO TO SCHOOL THAT SAY, I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO.

>> AND THAT'S VERY DIFFICULT. SO THEN A LOT OF THOSE STUDENTS END UP COMING OUT WITH NO REAL IDEA EVEN AFTER THEY GET OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, AND SO IF YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE A HEFTY INVESTMENT, YOU NEED TO BE -- I THINK YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL AS A FAMILY BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT SORT OF PAYOFF YOU CAN EXPECT.

>> IS CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE AFFORDABLE?

>> I THINK CHAMPLAIN IS AFFORDABLE AND WE -- IT'S INTERESTING, YOU KNOW, THE TUITION HAS DOUBLED IN MY TIME THERE, BUT THE PERCENT OF STUDENTS WHO RECEIVE PELL GRANTS, WHICH ARE THE COUNTRY'S NEEDIEST STUDENTS, HAS INCREASED BY ABOUT A THIRD. SO WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO USE FINANCIAL AID TO MAKE CHAMPLAIN MORE ACCESSIBLE TO A BROADER CROSS-SECTION, SOCIOECONOMICALLY. THE AVERAGE DEBT OF OUR STUDENTS WHO BORROW IS ABOUT 23 TO $25,000, IN THAT RANGE. SO IT'S ABOUT THE PRICE OF A NICE NEW CAR FOR A COLLEGE DEGREE. JOB PLACEMENT IS VERY HIGH, WITHIN SIX MONTHS OVER 85% EVERY YEAR, AND STARTING SALARIES ARE GOOD. WE THINK WE OFFER A REMARKABLY GOOD VALUE.

>> WHY DID TUITION NEED TO DOUBLE OVER THIS EIGHT-YEAR PERIOD?

>> THE DECISION EARLY ON WAS THAT CHAMPLAIN NEEDED TO DO TWO THINGS. WE NEEDED TO PUT MORE MONEY INTO FINANCIAL AID AND WE NEEDED TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF OUR FULL-TIME FACULTY TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY. WE HAVE DONE BOTH AND IT'S REALLY RESONATING WITH EMPLOYERS.

>> WE ARE STILL A NUMBER OF YEARS SHY FROM COMPLETING YOUR 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN.

>> YES.

>> IS IT, YOU KNOW, ANY MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT LEAVING PARTIAL -- PART WAY THROUGH?

>> NO. I WAS AWARE WHEN WE CREATED THE PLAN THAT I WOULD, IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, NOT BE HERE WHEN IT WAS ACCOMPLISHED. AND THAT ALSO MIRRORS THE SITUATION THAT EXISTED WHEN I CAME. CHAMPLAIN WAS PARTLY THROUGH A STRATEGIC PLAN. FOR ME AS A NEW PRESIDENT, IT WAS ENORMOUSLY HELPFUL TO HAVE A GUIDING FRAMEWORK LIKE THAT. I'M ASSUMING THAT THIS GUIDING FRAMEWORK, HELPFUL TO A NEW PRESIDENT COMING IN AS WELL. IT PROVIDES DIRECTION. THE ENTIRE CAMPUS, FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES DOWN, HAS SIGNED OFF ON IT. IT'S WHAT EVERYBODY IS COMMITTED TO DOING, SO I THINK THAT'S ALWAYS HELPFUL.

>> POLITICIANS IN VERMONT, I'M SURE YOU'VE HEARD THEM TALKING ABOUT, THIS IT'S THE GRAIN OF THE GREEN MOUNTAINS. DEMOGRAPHICS ARE NOT ON VERMONTERS' SIDES RIGHT NOW, STATE IS GETTING OLDER, A LOT OF KIDS ARE NOT CHOOSING TO LIVE HERE. DO YOU THINK THAT'S A PROBLEM AND IF SO, HOW DO COLLEGES HOW ADDRESS THAT?

>> OH, I THINK IT'S A HUGE PROBLEM. THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS IN VERMONT INDICATE THAT ON SOME LEVELS, THE STATE IS JUST NOT SUSTAINABLE. I MEAN, IT CAN'T CONTINUE TO BE FINANCIALLY VIABLE AS A STATE 30 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE. CHAMPLAIN'S CONTRIBUTION TO THAT IS THAT MORE THAN HALF OF OUR GRADUATES TAKE JOBS IN VERMONT WHEN THEY WALK OUT OUR DOORS.

>> NOW, IS THAT BECAUSE THEY ARE VERMONTERS AND SO THEY'RE STAYING? IS IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE MOVED HERE AND HAD AN INTERNSHIP OR CONNECTION TO THE COMMUNITY? WHY IS IT HALF? BECAUSE I'M SURE THE GOVERNOR WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE OF THAT.

>> NO, THEY COME FROM OUT OF STATE. WE EXPECT ABOUT 20%, 18% OF OUR FRESHMEN THIS YEAR WILL BE FROM VERMONT ONLY, BUT WE'RE STILL COMMITTED TO TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT MORE THAN HALF RECEIVE JOBS IN VERMONT WHEN THEY LEAVE. IT HAS TO DO WITH OUR OWN DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH VERMONT COMPANIES. WE GET THEM INTERNSHIPS IN VERMONT COMPANIES. THEY FALL IN LOVE WITH VERMONT WHEN THEY'RE HERE, IT'S HARD NOT TO, AND THEN THEY SEEK OUT POSITIONS UPON GRADUATION. IT'S WORKING REALLY WELL. I WISH THE PERCENTAGE WAS HIGHER, BUT WE'RE DOING FINE SO FAR.

>> SO YOU'RE STEPPING DOWN AT CHAMPLAIN, BUT I DON'T HEAR THE WORD "RETIREMENT" IN THE MIX HERE. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF GREAT INSTITUTIONS ACROSS VERMONT THAT I WOULD GUESS MIGHT BE INTERESTED OR POTENTIALLY INTERESTED IN YOUR HELP OR LEADERSHIP OR SERVICE. ANY INTEREST IN STICKING AROUND AND WORKING IN HIGHER ED?

>> YEAH, I'M HOPING TO DO SOME CONSULTING. I DON'T HAVE A LOT OF INTEREST IN CONTINUING 70-HOUR WORK WEEKS INDEFINITELY, BUT I HOPE TO DO SOME CONSULTING AND BE OF HELP TO INSTITUTIONS WHERE I CAN BE.

>> ADDITIONALLY AROUND THE CORNER, GRADUATION IS ON ITS WAY. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO YOUR GRADUATES? I KNOW YOU WILL ADDRESS THEM A LITTLE BIT LATER IN THE SPRING, BUT WHAT'S YOUR MESSAGE TO THEM IN.

>> MY MESSAGE THIS YEAR IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS IT HAS BEEN, AND IT'S TELLING THEM HOW WE KNOW THEY ARE READY. AND YOU WOULD HOPE THAT THEY ALREADY KNOW THAT AND TO SOME EXTENT, THEY DO, SO THE MESSAGE IS REALLY JUST REMINDING THEM ABOUT THAT. BUT IT IS -- IT'S A DIFFICULT WORLD THEY FACE. CERTAINLY IT'S MORE COMPLICATED THAN THE WORLD I CAME INTO AFTER COLLEGE AND THE RATE OF CHANGE IS FASTER. THEY WILL HAVE TO BE MORE NIMBLE, THEY WILL HAVE TO BE ABLE TO ADJUST MORE QUICKLY. THEY HAVE GOT THE CAPACITY TO DO IT. THEY HAVE ALREADY PROVEN IT, AND MY MESSAGE IS REMINDING THEM OF EXACTLY HOW THEY HAVE PROVEN IT TO REINFORCE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE READY.

>> QUICKLY, WHAT WAS THE IMAGE AND REPUTATION OF CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE WHEN YOU STARTED AND WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS NOW?

>> I THINK CHAMPLAIN WAS SEEN AS A VERY GOOD, LARGELY LOCAL INSTITUTION, THAT FOR DECADES AND DECADES HAD PROVIDED GOOD EMPLOYEES FOR LOCAL COMPANIES. I THINK INCREASINGLY NOW, IT'S SEEN AS A REGIONAL, IF NOT NATIONAL INSTITUTION, THAT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE HIGH-LEVEL TALENT NOW FOR LOCAL COMPANIES, TALENT THAT WE BELIEVE HAS SERIOUS LEADERSHIP CAPACITY. SO I THINK WE'VE TRANSITIONED INTO AN INSTITUTION THAT'S TRAINING PEOPLE TO BE LEADERS.

>> DAVE FINNEY, THE PRESIDENT OF CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE. 15 MORE MONTHS ON THE JOB, RIGHT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT, A LOT TO DO IN THE NEXT 5 MONTHS.

>> THANKS TO BEING HERE.

>> AND THANKS FOR YOU AT HOME FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, EVERYONE. TAKE CARE. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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