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Board approves Vermont State University name for 3 schools

Despite pleas from students and alumni not to change, Vermont state colleges are getting re-branded.
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:31 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Despite pleas from students and alumni not to change, the unified schools of the Vermont State Colleges are getting rebranded. The board of trustees for the Vermont State Colleges System voted Wednesday to unify the Castleton University, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College campuses under the new name Vermont State University.

Board members and Chancellor Sophie Zdatny say it’s necessary and that the current system is unsustainable. Zdatny says they have been losing money since 2012 and the pandemic only made it worse.

Of the people who signed up to comment prior to the decision, most said they were against the change and they’re worried about the schools losing their individualism.

“I’d like to point out so far about why campuses can’t retain their names, mascots and branding while operating under the umbrella of VSU,” said Andre Fleche, a professor at Castleton University.

“I do hope with the new Vermont State University name, we can have a sense of place when we talk about each of the campuses and what they offer. So Vermont State University at Johnson, at Lyndon, at Castleton, at Randolph, at Williston. These places are not just towns, they’re lifebloods of our institution,” said Meaghan Meachem, a professor at Northern Vermont University.

“Vermont State University gives us incredible flexibility in bringing the brand identity of the new university to life. In the coming months, we will be continuing the exciting work of establishing a unified brand identity for Vermont State University,” Zdatny said in a statement.

She says there has been feedback from at least 3,000 faculty, alumni and community partners throughout this process.

The name change and consolidation will launch in the summer of 2023.

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