YCQM May 19, 2019

BURLINGTON, Vt. >> DARREN: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," THE STATE OF HIGHER ED IN VERMONT.
MERGERS, CLOSURES AND COMPETITION BETWEEN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.
I'LL TALK TO THE CHANCE ALREADY OF THE VERMONT STATE COLLEGES.
PLUS HOMECOMING FOR THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD, AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS MORNING.
A YEAR-LONG DEPLOYMENT TO THE MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTHWEST ASIA FOR MEMBERS OF THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD IS OVER.
SOME OF THE 60 MEN AND WOMEN HAVE STARTED ARRIVING HOME.
AND THE GUARD EXPECTS EVERYONE BACK BY THE END OF THE MONTH.
THE GROUP DEPLOYED LAST JUNE, TO PROVIDE AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE AND EVACUATIONS ON THE BATTLEFIELD.
ONCE EVERYONE IS BACK, A HOMECOMING CEREMONY IS PLANNED.
AND TO FIND OUT HOW THAT MISSION WENT, I AM JOINED NOW BY ADJUTANT GENERAL GREG KNIGHT.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> YOU'RE WELCOME AND THANKS FOR BEING HERE.
SO HOW MANY FOLKS ARE HOME, HOW MANY HAVE YET TO ARRIVE?
>> ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THEM HOME.
WE HAD ABOUT 70 FOLKS DEPLOYED AND THEY'RE WORKING THROUGH THE DEMOBILIZATION PROCESS.
>> WHY A SCATTERED HOMECOMING?
SOMETIMES YOU SEE THESE DEPLOYMENTS AND WHEN THEY ALL RETURN THEY COME EN MASSE.
>> IT'S JUST A MATTER OF LOGISTICS.
ONCE THEY GO THROUGH THE DEMOBILIZATION PROCESS, THAT DEMOBILLIZATION STATION HAS A LIMITED NUMBER OF FOLKS THEY'LL SEE IN A DAY.
RATHER THAN HAVE THEM LANGUISH THERE, IT'S BETTER TO GET THEM HOME, AND PROBABLY MORE COST FISH BY COMMERCIAL AIR.
>> EVACUATIONS ON THE BATTLEFIELD, THESE FOLKS WERE IN HARM'S WAY.
DID EVERYONE COME HOME OKAY?
>> THEY DID.
I WILL TELL YOU THEY DID JUST AN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE JOB.
TO ME IT EXEMPLIFIED EVERYTHING THIS ORGANIZATION STANDS FOR.
THEIR WORK ETHIC IS UNBELIEVABLE, IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY HAD TO COVER.
A COMPANY OF MEDIVAC HELICOPTERS, BETWEEN 12 AND 15 HELICOPTERS AND THOSE 70 OR SO SERVICE MEMBERS MAINTAINED THOSE AIRCRAFT AND WERE ABE TO SUSTAIN OVER 250 MISSIONS IN THAT YEAR.
THAT IS PROFOUND TO ME.
BUT THAT'S A TESTAMENT TO THEIR PROFESSIONALISM AND EXPERTISE.
>> WE DID GET SOME INFORMATION THAT AT LEAST ONE PERSON WAS INJURED IN A NONCOMBAT RELATED INCIDENT.
>> YES, IT WAS A NONBATTLE INJURY.
OBVIOUSLY, BEING IN HARM'S WAY ISN'T NECESSARILY AN ENEMY, IT COULD BE BASICALLY WHAT WE DO.
YOU'RE WORKING ON AIRCRAFT, HEAVY MACHINERY.
IN THIS CASE IT WAS A FAIRLY SERIOUS INJURY, BUT NOT LIFE THREATENING, AND THAT SOLDIER IS CURRENTLY UNDERGOING CARE AND TREATMENT.
>> YOU ALLUDED TO THIS A LITTLE ABOUT, ABOUT THE MISSION.
HOW DID IT GO, EXACTLY WHAT DID THEY DO, AND EXACTLY WHERE WERE THEY?
I KNOW FOR SECURITY REASONS YOU WERE NOT RELEASING THAT BEFORE.
CAN YOU NOW?
>> NO, WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT WITH THE CENTRAL COMMAND THEATER OPERATIONS AND THAT ENCOMPASSES SOUTHWEST ASIA.
THEY WERE DEPLOYED AT EIGHT SITES, SO THE COMPANY WAS BROKEN UP TO SUPPORT VERY AUSTERE ENVIRONMENTS.
SAVING OVER 250 LIVES, THAT'S THEIR MISSION.
>> WE'VE BEEN TALKING FOR QUITE A WHILE NOW ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR A LARGE SCALE CALLUP INVOLVING THE VERMONT NATIONAL GUARD.
THAT SEEMED TO BE PERHAPS OFF THE TABLE, THEN FOR A WHILE BECAUSE WE WERE SORT OF FALLING OUT OF THAT ROTATION I THINK IT'S A FIVE-YEAR OR SO ROTATION.
BUT NOW THERE ARE ESCALATING TENSIONS WITH IRAN.
WHAT WE KNOW RIGHT NOW IS THAT SOME REPORTS ARE INDICATING THAT THE U.S. IS REVIEWING A POSSIBLE HUGE DEPLOYMENT TO THE MIDDLE EAST, WE'RE TALKING MORE THAN 100,000.
THE U.S. HAS ALREADY SENT AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER AND B52 BOMBERS TO THE REGION AND HAS THREATENED TO RETALIATE AGAINST IRAN FOR AN ATTACK ON AMERICA OR ITS INTERESTS.
THERE ARE SECURITY CONCERNS FOR AMERICANS IN NEIGHBORING IRAQ.
THE U.S. EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD HAS ALREADY ORDERED ALL NONEMERGENCY STAFF AND THEIR FAMILIES TO LEAVE IRAQ IMMEDIATELY.
IF THERE IS A BIG CALLUP, IS VERMONT ON THE LIST?
>> THAT'S HARD TO SAY.
WHAT I CAN SAY, AS PART OF OUR SUSTAINED READINESS MODEL, IT'S OUR JOB TO STAY READY.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE DO.
AS EVIDENCE OF THAT, WE'RE AT THE TRAINING CENTER WITH THE 86 BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM AND THEY'RE FOCUSING ON A VERY LARGE SCALE COLLECTIVE TRAINING EVENT, WHICH HAS BEEN PLANNED FOR THE PAST 24 MONTHS.
SO IRRESPECTIVE OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, WE'RE GOING TO BE READY, AND THAT'S WHAT WE DO.
>> FOR THE FOLKS WHO ARE RETURNING HOME, AND THANKFULLY ALL OF THEM ARE, ASIDE FROM THAT ONE NONCOMBAT RELATED INJURY, OKAY, WHAT'S IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE OKAY MENTALLY?
BECAUSE PERHAPS THEY DON'T HAVE PHYSICAL WOUNDS, BUT IN TIME THEY COULD HAVE INVISIBLE WOUNDS.
WHAT'S IN PLACE?
>> THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION, DARREN, AND SOMETHING THAT I'VE SPOKEN ABOUT AT THE LEGISLATURE, AND I WILL TELL ANYBODY.
WHEN YOU GO TO THESE ENVIRONMENTS, AND SOME OF OUR FOLKS WITHIN THAT AVIATION UNIT HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED MULTIPLE TIMES, NOBODY COMES BACK THE SAME.
I THINK AT THIS JUNCTURE WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT.
SO I WOULD TELL ANYBODY, AND I USE MYSELF AS AN EXAMPLE, THERE SHOULD BE NO STIGMA WITH IT.
IF YOU COME BACK AND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE HAVING ADJUSTMENT ISSUES, IF YOU'RE GETTING MESSAGING FROM YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FRIENDS, TAKE THE INITIATIVE AND BE THAT RESILIENT SOLDIER AND GO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
IN MY INDICATION I KNEW I HAD ADJUSTMENT ISSUES, IT DIDN'T MANIFEST IMMEDIATELY.
IN MY CASE I'VE BEEN BACK ABOUT SIX MONTHS, I KNEW THAT I WASN'T THE PERSON I WAS WHEN I CAME BACK, SO I WENT TO THE VET CENTER.
THEY GUARANTEE CONFIDENTIALITY, AND THAT ME IS A GREAT RESOURCE FOR ANYBODY WHO COMES BACK TO TALK THROUGH SOME OF THEIR ISSUES.
>> WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS PIECEMEAL HOMECOMINGS FOR VERY SMALL GROUPS, SOMETIMES ONE, SOMETIMES TWO, SOMETIMES THREE.
IS THERE GOING TO BE A LARGER HOMECOMING CEREMONY TO CELEBRATE THEIR RETURN, AND THE SUCCESSFUL MISSION?
>> YES, WE'RE PLANNING ONE FOR THE FALL.
AND THE OTHER THING TO GO BACK TO YOUR EARLIER QUESTION, ONE WE'LL CERTAINLY KEEP YOU POSTED ON ANY HOMECOMING EVENTS WE HAVE FOR THE FALL.
BUT THE OTHER THING IS WE'LL CONDUCT A YELLOW RIBBON EVENT WHERE SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES ARE PUT TOGETHER IN A FORMAL SETTING AND THAT GIVES THEM AN AVENUE TO THE RESOURCES THEY MAY NEED.
>> GENERAL KNIGHT, THANK YOU.
AND WE'RE HAPPY TO HAVE EVERYBODY COMING HOME RIGHT NOW.
>> APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY.
>> THANK YOU AGAIN.
COMING UP NEXT, A PROGRESS REPORT ON NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY, DID MERGING LYNDON AND JOHNSON LEAVE THE SCHOOL ON BETTER FINANCIAL FOOTING?
DON'T GO AWAY.
>> DARREN: CHANNEL 3 NEWS SUNDAY MORNING IS COMING UP RIGHT AT 8:00.
SCOTT FLEISCHMAN IS IN THE NEWSROOM WITH A PREVIEW OF WHAT THEY'LL HAVE THIS MORNING.
HEY, SCOTT, WHAT'S UP?
>> GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
NORTHERN VERMONT'S UNIVERSITY JOHNSON CELEBRATED ITS FIRST GRADUATING CLASS SATURDAY, AND A POP ICON WILL GIVE THE COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS.
WE'LL HEAR FROM CINDY LAUPER.
AND A LONG TIME COMING FOR STUDENTS AT A LOCAL JUNIOR HIGH IN THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM, WE'LL TAKE YOU THERE AND TELL YOU ABOUT THE BRAND NEW FIELD BEING BUILT.
PLUS WE MAY BE LOOKING AT SOME MORE SUNDAY SHOWERS, DAVE WILL LET US KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT TODAY AND FOR THE COMING WORK WEEK.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT THE TOP OF THE HOUR.
>> DARREN: THANK YOU.
UP NEXT WITH SEVERAL VERMONT COLLEGES CLOSING, AND THE POTENTIAL FOR EVEN MORE, WHAT'S THE FUTURE HOLD FOR NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY?
WE ASK, AFTER THE BREAK.
>> DARREN: NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENTS ARE THIS WEEKEND.
YESTERDAY AT THE JOHNSON CAMPUS, TODAY AT LYNDON.
THE GRADUATES ARE THE FIRST TO RECEIVE N. V.U. AGREES FOLLOWING A MERGER BETWEEN THE TWO CAMPUSES.
IT WAS A COST CUTTING MOVE BY THE VERMONT STATE COLLEGES TO TRY TO KEEP THE SCHOOLS AFLOAT AT IT A TIME WHEN SEVERAL VERMONT SCHOOLS ARE GOING UNDER.
I ASKED THE CHANCELLOR, JEB SPAULDING, IF THE MERGER IS WORKING AND ABOUT THE STATE OF HIGHER ED IN VERMONT.
>> IT'S AN ONGOING TRANSITION, NOT A LIKE DONE.
AND WE'RE GOING TO START TO SEE MORE AND MORE ADVANTAGES OF UNIFICATION AS WE GO FORWARD.
EVERYTHING FROM SAVING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS, WHICH ALLOWS US TO PUT MORE MONEY INTO STUDENT OPPORTUNITIES, BUT ALSO FOR EXAMPLE HAVING ONE ADMISSIONS TEAM WITH TWICE AS MANY PEOPLE WORKING FOR IT THAT CAN COVER MORE GROUND, AND HAVE MORE TO SELL TO PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS OR STUDENTS.
>> FOLLOWING UP ON THAT, WHAT DID MERGING THE TWO HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH, AND IS IT WORKING YET?
>> YES.
IT WAS TO ACCOMPLISH SEVERAL THINGS.
I ALREADY MENTIONED ONE, WHICH WAS TO SAVE ADMINISTRATIVE AND MANAGEMENT COSTS.
AND THAT IS IN EXCESS OF A MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY, AND LESS SALARIES AND COMPENSATION FOR ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT.
SO THAT PART HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL.
ANOTHER PART THAT WE'RE HOPING WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND APPEARS TO BE DOING SO IS THAT WE COULD OFFER STUDENTS MORE OPPORTUNITIES, BY HAVING CLASS TRIPS THAT COULDN'T FILL BEFORE, BY RUNNING MORE CLASSES USING TECHNOLOGY ON BOTH CAMPUSES SO THAT CLASSES ARE MORE LIKELY NOT TO BE CANCELED DUE TO LOW ENROLLMENT.
THEN ALSO TO BE MORE ATTRACTIVE TO STUDENTS THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN COMING TO NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY.
VERMONT DOES HAVE A CERTAIN CHARM TO IT, SO NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY SEEMS TO BE CATCHING ON.
APPLICATIONS FOR THIS COMING YEAR ARE UP SIGNIFICANTLY, WE HOPE THAT TRANSLATES INTO ACTUAL STUDENTS ON CAMPUS, AND WE WON KNOW THAT UNTIL THE SUMMER IS OVER AND WHETHER PEOPLE SHOW UP.
BUT RIGHT NOW IT'S MAYBE A LITTLE EARLY TO GET EXCITED, BUT DEFINITELY NOT TOO EARLY TO BE OPTIMISTIC.
>> DARREN: WAS ENROLLMENT DECLINING BEFORE?
>> ENROLLMENT HAS BEEN DECLINING SOMEWHAT, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MINE WITH NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY AND OUR STATE COLLEGES THAT OUR ENROLLMENT IS UP SIGNIFICANTLY FROM WHERE IT WAS IN 2000.
IT PEAKED ABOUT 2009 OR 10, DEPENDING ON THE COLLEGE, AND IT'S COME DOWN A LITTLE BIT.
BUT NOWHERE NEAR AS MUCH AS THE OVERALL DEMOGRAPHICS WOULD LEAD YOU TO BELIEVE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE ARE 25% FEWER SENIORS IN HIGH SCHOOL THIS YEAR COMPARED TO 10 YEARS AGO, YOU WOULD THINK THAT MAYBE ENROLLMENT WOULD HAVE GONE DOWN A LOT.
IT'S GONE DONE SOME, BUT NOT ALL THAT MUCH.
AND OF COURSE THAT DOES DEPEND ON WHICH COLLEGE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AS WELL.
>> DARREN: LET'S FOLLOW UP ON THE DEMOGRAPHICS.
DO DEMOGRAPHICS PLAY THE BIGGEST ROLE IN YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING THE STATE, AND SOME ECONOMISTS ARE SAYING THIS TREND WILL CONTINUE AND THEREFORE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS COULD BE EVEN MORE IN JEOPARDY DOWN THE ROAD.
>> WELL, THAT'S A BIG QUESTION.
DEMOGRAPHICS ARE CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST FACTORS FACING HIGHER EDUCATION.
AND IT'S NOT SO MUCH THAT PEOPLE ARE LEAVING VERMONT, THEY ARE JUST HAVING FEWER CHILDREN AND WE'RE GETTING OLDER.
AND THERE IS A CORRELATION BETWEEN HIGHER EDUCATION AND HAVING LESS CHILDREN.
IT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.
BUT IN VERMONT AND OTHER PARTS OF NEW ENGLAND THERE ARE JUST FEWER CHILDREN OUT THERE.
WE'VE BEEN HAVING MIGRATION, OUT MIGRATION SINCE THE 1850'S, SO THAT'S NOTHING NEW.
IF YOU'RE A SMALL STATE, PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE GOING TO THE BIGGER CITIES WHERE MORE OPPORTUNITIES ARE.
SO THE DEMOGRAPHICS ARE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S FACING US.
THERE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES FACING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.
DEMOGRAPHIC IS IS NUMBER ONE.
BUT ALSO PRICING IS NUMBER TWO.
AND COLLEGES HAVE BEEN RAISING THEIR TUITION EVERY YEAR TO THE POINT WHERE PARENTS AND STUDENTS ARE QUESTIONING HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO GO TO COLLEGE, AND IS THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT WORTH IT.
THE FLIP SIDE OF THAT COIN IS THAT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN TENDING TO DISCOUNT THEIR PRICES TO THE POINT WHERE YOU COULD ACTUALLY HAVE INCREASING ENROLLMENT BUT DECLINING REVENUES BECAUSE YOU'RE CUTTING YOUR TUITION COST, AND THAT'S A TREND THAT'S REALLY PREVALENT IN THE INDEPENDENT COLLEGE WORLD.
NOT AS MUCH IN PUBLIC COLLEGES.
SO WHEN WE LOOK FORWARD, WE CAN TELL THAT THE SMALL, RURAL TUITION DEPENDENT COLLEGES ARE THE ONES THAT ARE UNDER THE MOST PRESSURE.
AND THOSE THAT HAVE THE FORESIGHT AND THE FORTITUDE TO TAKE CREATIVE TOUGH ACTIONS SOON ENOUGH ARE THE ONES THAT WILL SURVIVE.
IT WOULDN'T SURPRISE ME TO SEE MORE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN VERMONT AND ACROSS THIS COUNTRY CLOSE.
THERE'S CERTAINLY A LOT OF ANALYSTS OUT THERE, INCLUDING MOOD'S THAT WOULD SAY THAT'S LIKELY TO BE THE CASE.
BUT VERMONT'S STATE COLLEGES HAVE SOME ADVANTAGES.
FOR EXAMPLE, EVEN THOUGH OUR STATE APPROPRIATION IS RELATIVELY LOW, WE GET IT EVERY YEAR, AND IT'S SIZABLE, LIKE IN THE REALM OF $30 MILLION.
IF YOU WERE TO TRY TO GENERATE THAT KIND OF RETURN ON AN ENDOWMENT IT WOULD BE LIKE A HALF BILLION DOLLAR ENDOWMENT.
SO COMPARED TO SOME OF THE SMALLER INDEPENDENT COLLEGES WE HAVE NUMEROUS ADVANTAGES.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN VERMONT.
ENROLLMENT CRISIS REALLY HITTING VERMONT HARD, WE'VE SEEN THREE SCHOOLS AND I THINK YOU WERE ALLUDING TO THIS, THE COLLEGE OF ST. JOE'S, GREEN MOUNTAIN COLLEGE, SOUTHERN VERMONT COLLEGE.
WHY COULDN'T THEY STAY AFLOAT?
AND HOW DOES THE STATE COLLEGE SYSTEM PLAN TO AVOID THAT?
>> THEY COULDN'T STAY AFLOAT PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF THE DEMOGRAPHICS, AND THEIR NEED TO CUT THEIR PRICES TO ATTRACT A DECLINING NUMBER OF STUDENTS.
SO IT'S PRETTY STRAIGHT FORWARD.
THEY ARE JUST FACING THE SAME PRESSURES THAT MOST RURAL TUITION DEPEND DEN COLLEGES ARE, WHICH IS A SMALLER NUMBER OF THEIR TRADITIONAL CUSTOMERS, AND THE PRICE COMPETITION AND PRESSURE THAT MADE THEM DISCOUNT TO THE POINT WHERE IT WAS JUST NOT ECONOMICAL.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO FACE THAT SAME SITUATION BECAUSE WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO SERVE A NONPRACTICE DIGS AL --
NONTRADITIONAL POPULATION.
GRADUATES PLANNING TO GO ONTO POST SECONDARY EDUCATION, THERE ARE SOME 60,000 VERMONT ADULTS THAT HAVE SOME COLLEGE THAT DIDN'T FINISH AND THEY NEED OUR HELP.
BUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS INNOVATE WITH NEWER PROGRAMS THAT ARE WHAT THAT NONTRADITIONAL GROUP IS GOING TO BE LOOKING FOR.
SO WITHIN THE STATE COLLEGE SYSTEM, VERMONT TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF VERMONT, WE ARE STARTING SIX NEW APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS.
HERE AT NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY JOHNSON, THEY ARE STARTING A NEW ASSOCIATES DEGREE PROGRAM IN PSYCHOLOGY AND HAVE OTHER ASSOCIATES DEGREES THAT DON'T REQUIRE A FOUR-YEAR COMMITMENT.
WE ARE REALLY BUILDING OUR ONLINE CAPACITY, AND HAVING CONDENSED SHORTER COURSE OFFERINGS SO THAT PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A WHOLE SEMESTER AND COME MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY OR WHATEVER IT IS.
SO IN AN EFFORTS TO, YOU KNOW, OUR MISSION STATEMENT STARTS WITH FOR THE BENEFIT OF VERMONT.
IT IS NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE AL MA MATTER.
IF WE'RE GOING TO SERVE THE WORK FORCE NEEDS OF VERMONT, WE NEED TO DEVELOP PRODUCTS THAT ARE IN DEMAND BY OUR CITIZENS AND OUR EMPLOYERS.
>> LET'S FOLLOW UP ON THAT ONLINE ASPECT HERE.
DO ONLINE OPTIONS PLAY A ROLE IN DECLINING ENROLLMENT AT SOME INSTITUTIONS IN VERMONT?
MANY ARE FLOCKING TO ONLINE CLASSES, THEY'RE CHEAPER AND EASIER, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A BEYOND WHILE YOU'RE GOING TO SCHOOL.
SO IS IT A CATCH 22?
>> IT'S ANOTHER ONE OF THE FORCES THAT ARE AFFECTING HIGHER EDUCATION, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
DEMOGRAPHICS, PRICING, NEW PLAYERS IN THE HIGHER ED WORLD.
I SAW A REPORT RECENTLY THAT SAID THERE WERE A THOUSAND MORE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAN THERE WERE 10, 20 YEARS AGO.
SO YES, THERE ARE A LOT OF NEW COMPETITORS OUT THERE.
BUT ALSO IT'S THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT COIN IS THAT VERMONTERS AND OTHER FOLKS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE LOOKING FOR THE ABILITY TO DO THEIR WORK AND THEIR FAMILY COMMITMENTS AND PURSUE HIGHER EDUCATION AND ONLINE IS ONE WAY THEY CAN DO THAT.
>> DARREN: NOT ONLY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT FEWER EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES WHEN AN INSTITUTION LIKE THIS CLOSES, YOU KNOW, TALKING ABOUT ST. JOE'S AND SOUTHERN VERMONT, BUT ALSO THIS IS A HUGE ECONOMIC FACTOR WHEN A BIG EMPLOYER LIKE THAT CLOSES, 4% OF THE WORK FORCE IN VERMONT EMPLOYED BY HIGHER ED INSTITUTIONS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS FOR THE ECONOMY?
>> WELL, IT'S A REAL LOSS FOR THE ECONOMY.
PARTICULARLY SOME OF THE RURAL PARTS OF THE STATE.
SO YOU LOOK AT THE GREEN MOUNTAIN COLLEGE OR SOUTHERN VERMONT COLLEGE OUTSIDE OF BENNINGTON, AND THOSE ARE MAJOR ECONOMIC LOSSES.
NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
CASTLETON UNIVERSITY, NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY, COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF VERMONT AND VERMONT TECHNICAL COLLEGE, WE'RE TRYING TO FILL SOME OF THAT VOID.
I'M NOT SURE THAT WE'LL BE TAKING OVER THEIR CAMPUSES, BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE THAT BRICKS AND MORTAR IS GOING TO PLAY THAT MUCH OF A ROLE IN HIGHER EDUCATION 10 OR 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
BUT FOR EXAMPLE, CASTLETON IS PICKING UP THE FOUR-YEAR NURSING PROGRAM THAT SOUTHERN VERMONT COLLEGE HAD AND WILL BE DELIVERING THAT IN BENNINGTON.
SO THERE ARE WAYS WE CAN HELP OUT.
REALITY IS THERE HAS BEEN A CAPACITY ISSUE, AND WITH THE DECLINING NUMBER OF STUDENTS AND NEW PROVIDERS, IT'S NOT TOTALLY SURPRISING THAT WE WOULD SEE SOME COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES CLOSE THEIR DOORS.
>> DARREN: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE TWO CAMPUSES.
ONLY AN HOUR SEPARATES THE TWO.
DOES IT MAKE SENSE IN SUCH A RURAL PART OF VERMONT, AN UNPOPULATED PART OF VERMONT, TO HAVE TWO INSTITUTIONS SERVING THIS AREA?
>> WELL, EACH OF THOSE CAMPUSES HAVE A LOT OF COMMUTER STUDENTS.
IF EITHER JOHNSON OR LYNDON CAMPUSES DIDN'T EXIST, THERE WOULD BE HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF VERMONTERS THAT WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO PURSUE A COLLEGE EDUCATION.
SO IT WOULD BE A MAJOR LOSS FOR ACCESS FOR VERMONTERS WANTING TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES AND A MAJOR ECONOMIC LOSS FOR A COUPLE OF RURAL PARTS OF OUR STATE THAT NEED THE ECONOMIC FOUNDATION THAT THE STATE COLLEGE SYSTEM, IN THIS CASE NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY, PROVIDES.
>> DARREN: THERE WAS SOME SCUTTLEBUTT WHEN THE STATE WAS LOOKING AND YOU WERE LOOKING AT WAYS TO SAVE MONEY THAT PERHAPS ONE OF THE SCHOOLS MIGHT CLOSE.
IS THAT OFF THE TABLE?
>> YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T GUARANTEE WHAT WE'LL BE LOOKING AT 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.
BUT THE REASON WE UNIFIED WAS TO ENSURE THAT THOSE CAMPUSES ARE ECONOMICALLY VIABLE FOR THE FUTURE, AND THAT'S OUR PLAN.
>> DARREN: WHY TWO CEREMONIES FOR COMMENCEMENT?
BECAUSE SOME FOLKS MAY BE SAYING THAT'S ALSO A GOOD WAY TO SAVE MONEY, YOU KNOW, SOME LARGE UNIVERSITIES WILL MULTICAMPUS UNIVERSITIES HAVE ONE CEREMONY THAT EVERYBODY GOES TO.
>> YOU KNOW, THAT'S SOMETHING WE MIGHT EVOLVE TO DOWN THE ROAD.
BUT AT THE MOMENT EACH OF THE CAMPUSES HAS HAD ITS OWN LOCAL FEELING TO IT, HAS ITS OWN ALUMNI BASE.
AND IT'S THE KIND OF THING WHERE STUDENTS PRETTY MUCH SPEND THEIR TIME ON ONE CAMPUS OR ANOTHER.
IT SEEMS REASONABLE THAT THEY WOULD HAVE A COMMENCEMENT ON THAT CAMPUS.
IF NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY WERE TO CHANGE ITS MIND SOMETIME AND COME AND SAY WIELD LIKE TO HAVE ONE COMMENCEMENT, I'M SURE THE TRUSTEES AND CHANCELLOR WOULD SUPPORT THAT.
BUT FOR THE TIME BEING, I THINK THE INTEREST IS THERE TO MAINTAIN BOTH COMMENCEMENTS.
AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR NORTHERN VERMONT UNIVERSITY TO BE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH WHAT HAPPENS ON ONE CAMPUS VERSUS ANOTHER, SO THAT WHEN THE ADMISSIONS TEAMS ARE OUT THERE THEY COULD SAY, FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR A NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO COME TO THE JOHNSON CAMPUS, BECAUSE IT'S A LIBERAL ARTS CERTIFIED CAMPUS.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR METEOROLOGY OR ELECTRONIC JOURNALISM, YOU MIGHT CONSIDER COMING TO THE LYNDON CAMPUS.
THEY DO HAVE THEIR OWN PERSONALITIES.
>> DARREN: WHEN YOU'RE SPEAKING TO KIDS WHO ARE CONSIDERING COLLEGE, WHAT SETS N. V.U. LYNDON OR JOHNSON APART?
>> WHAT SETS IT APART IS A FACULTY THAT CARES ABOUT TEACHING.
AND SOMETIMES STUDENTS GO TO A UNIVERSITY AND THERE ARE GREAT BIG CLASSES AND THEY DON'T REALLY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW THEIR FACULTY.
HERE THE FACULTY CARE, THEY'RE HERE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO TEACH.
OUR STUDENTS DON'T GET LOST HERE.
AND THEY ARE ABLE TO GET THE KIND OF EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THAT THEY PROBABLY WOULDN'T IN A MUCH LARGER IMPERSONAL LOCATION.
>> DARREN: WHAT'S THE MESSAGE TO KIDS AS THEY NEAR THE FINISH LINE?
AND FOR THOSE STARTING THEIR COLLEGE SEARCH RIGHT NOW.
>> FIRST OF ALL, FOR THOSE THAT ARE GOING TO GRADUATE THIS YEAR, THE CEREMONY IS CALLED COMMENCEMENT.
AND COMMENCEMENT IS NOT THE END, IT'S THE BEGINNING.
SO THIS COMMENCEMENT IS THE END OF ONE TALE AND THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER ADVENTURE.
SO WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO IS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THEY LEARNED HERE AND GO OUT AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE, AND RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES AND HOPEFULLY THE GOOD STRONG FOUNDATION THEY RECEIVED HERE AT ANY OF THE CAMPUSES IN THE VERMONT STATE COLLEGE SYSTEM WILL ALLOW THEM TO ADAPT TO A RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD.
FOR THOSE THAT ARE JUST STARTING, MAKE SURE YOU LOOK FOR HELP, IF THERE'S SOME REASON WHY YOU'RE NOT SURE, YOU KNOW, THE CLASSES ARE GOING TO BE SOMETHING YOU CAN CONTINUE WITH OR YOU COMASSER THE --
COULD MASTER, TALK TO THE FACULTY.
I GUESS THE BIGGEST THING IS, A COLLEGE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT.
IF YOU DON'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT'S THERE TO BE GAINED, YOU'LL BE MISSING OUT ON A LOT.
SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS.
IT WON'T COME ALONG AGAIN, IT'S A STAGE OF YOUR LIFE THAT WILL BE GONE AND IF YOU DON'T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT, IT WILL BE YOUR LOSS.
>> DARREN: THANK YOU.
>> THANKS VERY MUCH.
>> DARREN: SPAULDING SAYS THE MERGER HAS ALREADY SAVED $3 MILLION, AND APPLICATIONS ARE UP 46% OVER LAST YEAR, WITH 3360 PEOPLE APPLYING TO N. V.U.
THAT WILL DO IT FOR CHANNEL 3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT WITH SCOTT FLEISCHMAN, WHO IS STANDING BY.
HAVE A GOOD DAY.