VSC Board of Trustees (S.238) - Feb 16, 2024

Elizabeth Mauch (Chancellor, Vermont State Colleges) appeared before the Senate Education Committee on Friday afternoon.  She noted that she has been very busy in her first six weeks in the job getting around to the campuses, meeting teachers and students, watching them participate in athletics and academics. She was very impressed with where the system is at this point and looking forward to the work ahead. She commended the outstanding work the VSC Board of Directors has done and their role in strategic oversight to establish the mission, vision, and policies for the VSC system to assure financial stability and accountability. Mauch reports directly to the Board and believes there is mutual accountability and responsibility.

Mauch commented that transparency is very important to her and to the Board.  There has been a great deal of effort to improve transparency through zoom and ensuring public comments are reviewed and heard by the Board. Two faculty members and two staff liaisons participate int the Education Personnel Student Life Committee (EPSL) meetings and this model has proven to be very successful. The Board Committees do the bulk of the work, and she supports adding more faculty and staff to these committees.

The bill before the Committee, S.238, would remove the two longest-serving legislative trustees replace them with one faculty trustee and one staff trustee. Mauch does not want to reduce the number of legislative trustees as recommended in the bill. However, she does support a shared governance model where respect for individual expertise is recognized.

Chairman Campion noted that the additional members, if added, would be ex-officio. Mauch noted that she is going to be adding additional staff/faculty members to the Finance, Facilities, and Audit Committees (which is in her purview to do). She was somewhat neutral on the overall bill, as long as they maintained their legislative trustees.

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