VSEA VSCSF Chair Sandy Noyes Pens Letter To The Editor

Kudos to Doug Boardman for hitting the nail on the head in his letter to the editor about the disparity of state funding for UVM versus the five Vermont State Colleges. Many of us at the VSCs have been scratching our heads on the unfairness of the “formula” the legislature uses to allocate money to UVM and the state colleges. The state colleges educate far more Vermonters than UVM, yet we are left with a miniscule amount compared to what UVM receives.

And what does UVM do with the funding it receives? Administrators pay themselves and key faculty outrageously high salaries and do such things as erect a new entrance sign to campus that cost $750,000.

Salaries at the state colleges are so far below those of the people at UVM that you can’t even compare. Many of us have stayed here for years despite that because we believe in the mission of the state colleges – to educate Vermonters and help them advance and lead our state to a better future. The lack of support for this this mission by our legislators is deplorable.

We are losing many Vermont students because they are finding it less expensive to attend out of state colleges. A student completes high school then finds it is more affordable to go to an out-of-state college, so off they go. They meet someone at that college, then they raise their family there. This scenario means we have lost not just one person but a whole family who could have contributed to our economy.

We need the state to put its money where its mouth is. They complain about the high cost of college, the shortage of high school graduates in Vermont who go on to college, and the exodus of young Vermonters from our state. They could make a big dent in all those problems by funding the Vermont State Colleges so that people could truly “buy local.”

The state colleges have much to offer and deserve our attention AND our funds. Admissions counselors at Johnson State, Lyndon State, Vermont Technical College, Castleton and the Community College of Vermont would be glad to show you around.