Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy And Representative Peter Welch On The Proposal To Close Or Consolidate Vermont State Colleges

Vermont’s state colleges have provided Vermonters with access to higher education and helped to build the Vermont workforce for the past 60 years.  They are an essential part of our post-secondary system and the economic drivers of rural regions around the state.  Community members, students and faculty have reached out to us over the last several days worried about the future of their education, jobs and towns.  We share their concerns.

The proposal in front of the Vermont State College System’s Board of Trustees to consolidate the system into three entities -- a university, a technical college, and a community college -- is a significant change driven by economic realities and the unprecedented crisis we face today.  There are many factors to consider, and we appreciate that the Board of Trustees has agreed to delay a vote on the proposal to evaluate its impact and the system’s financial future.

We stand together with many in our state in calling for a creative path forward for the Vermont’s state colleges.  Demographic changes have forced the state colleges to adapt frequently over the past few years, and they have proven that they can do that while still providing Vermonters with access to quality education.  They will adapt again, and we will continue to push for educational programs that support Vermont students, our state colleges, and their communities.

# # # # #

Press Contact

David Carle: 202-224-3693

Lincoln Peek: 202-440-3340