Newsmaker Interview: Mike Smith to steer Vt. State University launch

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 6:49 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Former Vermont Agency of Human Services Secretary and all-around fixer-in-chief Mike Smith was recently hired to take guide the official launch of Vermont State University this summer after the sudden departure last month of the new school’s president.

The plan calls for Vermont Technical College to join Castleton University and Northern Vermont University on July 1. The cash-strapped system will have $ 200 million from the state to carry out the plan but has also been tasked with cutting $5 million out of the budget over the next four years.

Smith recently reversed course on a controversial plan to consolidate sports programs, make the systems’ libraries digital, and lay off librarians. Now, Smith says he’s going to find savings through job vacancies, careful hiring, limiting part-time adjunct positions, boosting enrollment, and reducing debt service.

Darren Perron spoke with Smith about his plans to guide the school through the complicated transition. Watch the videos above and below to see their full conversation.

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