Montpelier(Jan. 27) -,President Thomas Sullivan highlighted the 2014-2015 year at UVM and asked the House Committee on Education for an increase in funding.
Sullivan covered a variety of topics, from the new STEM building, to the university’s efforts in attracting and graduating low-income Vermont students.
Sullivan asked the committee for a 5.2% increase in funding for FY 2017.
He said over 1,000 Vermonters graduate from UVM every year and that one of their goals is to increase that number by giving low income Vermont residents the ability to afford a college education.
“I think our goal is to have more Vermonters educated,” Sullivan said, “I hope we can educate them in our great institutions here in Vermont.”
He said that 32% of Vermont students, at the university, are the first in their families to attend college, and that 28% of Vermont students are Pell grant recipients.
“This is a different university than in the past,” Sullivan said about UVM’s work to provide affordable education for low income students.
Sullivan also spoke on the job market in Vermont and the university’s goal of keeping graduated students in-state.
In the 2013-14 year, Sullivan said that 91% of UVM graduates were either employed or enrolled in graduate school, within a year of graduating.
44% of those graduates, were employed in Vermont, he said.
Sullivan also said that the STEM facility would be a “major economic driver” for Vermont,in terms of jobs and research.
He said that one of the goals for the university is to have the infrastructure to support the talent of the student’s and faculty.
“You can’t expect to recruit these great Vermont students if their high school science and technical labs are better than Cook Hall,” Sullivan said.
He said that the path to STEM began his first semester at the university when he took a tour of the tour.
“ I was appalled, shocked and embarrassed on the condition of our physical sciences and engineering labs,” Sullivan said, specifically about the condition of the Cook Physical Science Building.
“The key point here, is that it’s not about bricks and mortar, it’s about the great teaching and discovery and learning that will take place in that building [STEM] and I believe it will be Vermont’s number one economic development,” Sullivan said.