Vermont State Colleges to undergo independent financial assessment

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont lawmakers are stepping in to help the Vermont State Colleges figure out the next steps following last month's scrapped proposal to shut down three campuses because of financial problems.

State legislators and Gov. Phil Scott have agreed to have an independent financial assessment performed on VSC.

It comes after former VSC Chancellor Jeb Spaulding last month floated a plan to shut down to close both Northern Vermont University campuses and the Vermont Technical College campus in Randolph. He said the system is facing a deficit this school year of between $7 million and $10 million.

The plan triggered a flood of opposition from faculty, students and community members, prompting Spaulding to resign.

In the coming weeks, lawmakers plan to form a working group on higher education in Vermont and explore ways the state can provide more opportunities to students. Lawmakers say broader discussions on restructuring will be saved for a summer or fall working group.

The VSCS board met with students Wednesday to seek feedback and is also accepting suggestions online.