Vermont State Colleges select new interim chancellor

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 12:47 AM EDT
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The Vermont State Colleges board of trustees has appointed an interim chancellor to take over after embattled Chancellor Jeb Spaulding stepped down.

The board voted to appoint VSC General Counsel Sophie Zdatny to the position at Wednesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. She will serve until the board finds a permanent replacement for Spaulding, who officially resigned on Wednesday.

Spaulding first announced his plans to resign earlier this week after getting much backlash on his recommendation to close three college campuses.

On Wednesday, Spaulding delivered his final remarks as chancellor and further explained his decision to step down.

“Clearly, the process leading to my recommendations, later withdrawn, did not turn out the way I would’ve hoped,” he said. “I take full responsibility and apologize to those that were hurt. I’ve become more of a liability than an asset to the VSC systems. My ability to be an effective chancellor has eroded and I don’t believe that can be repaired quickly, if ever.”

WCAX News asked if the board thinks Lyndon State College, Johnson State College and Vermont Technical College will be open and fully operational by the fall. Board chair Churchill Hindes says it’s too soon to answer that question.

“We are committed to being open for business in August if that is at all possible and obviously everything that we do has an asterisk on it subject to whatever requirements we have to follow concerning the novel coronavirus,” said Hindes. “It is our hope that we will have students on campus but it would be unrealistic to say we can answer that right now.”

When asked how VSC plans to fund the three college campuses, Hindes said VSC has its own resources but also relies heavily on public support since it’s a public institution. He says they’re working to collaborate with the executive and legislative branches to secure the support and funding they require.