Mr. President step up with the specifics
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 19:10
We at the Cynic see great potential in President Thomas Sullivan’s ability to do great things for our University, but he needs to get specific.
When UVM President Sullivan took office, he focused the beginning of his tenure on listening to the University community, promising that the outcome would be his “thousand-day plan” for the University, a guideline to his specific policies.
Instead of delivering that plan, President Sullivan has been speaking about his vision in very broad terms, hitting over and over his four main pathways for success: making college affordable, improving our facilities, encouraging more public service and improving the student-teacher ratio.
There were no specifics offered, and we were excited to get to the actual nuts and bolts of his plan. Well, it never came.
As it stands, Sullivan’s four pathways are promising, but sound an awful lot like problems that most colleges across the U.S. are facing.
We at the Cynic are calling on the president to get specific and devise an actual strategy for advancing UVM. A thousand days, or 2.7 years, is a lot to plan. We hope President Sullivan can deliver on his promise of transparency and give us the actual plan, not more administrative language on “strategic implementation.”
Former UVM President Dan Fogel handled the same situation when he took office in 2002 a little differently: He quickly made it clear that his administration was going to advance the University in certain ways and outlined exactly how to get it done.
His timeline? Not 2.7 years, but 10. Fogel’s 10-year vision for the University was presented to the Board of Trustees and was transparent, held open to public discussion.
The administration looked different back then – frankly, it was much smaller. Fogel did not have the opportunity to hide behind vice presidents; he had to make his vision precise and future actions clear.
We encourage President Sullivan to follow precedent and not hide behind four vague pathways for success.