Governor Shumlin to refocus state’s relationship with UVM

first_imgUniversity of Vermont,Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin gave the following address regarding the state of Vermont’s relationship with the University of Vermont. The public policy initiative, which would include the state college system, is to better focus the limited financial resources the state has into ‘maximum return on investment,’ as the governor put it, with particular focus on advancing science, engineering, technology and mathematics education.To this end, he announced a working group comprised of prominent Vermonters with ties to UVM and led by Nick Donofrio, a former top executive at IBM in Vermont. They are charged with identifying key issues between the state and the university and making recommendations that will be presented to the governor and the new UVM president next July. UVM Interim President John Bramley is also a member of the group.Shumlin made his remarks Tuesday afternoon at the Hoehl Gallery at the UVM College of Medicine.Remarks by Governor Peter ShumlinUniversity of VermontNovember 8, 2011Good afternoon and thank you for being here. I am here today on the University of Vermont campus to talk about the future of the university and its essential relationship with the state of Vermont. This is a topic that means a lot to me. I am convinced that Vermont can become known nationally as the Education State in the coming years, and that UVM will play a critical role in that evolution.To be clear, the state of higher education in Vermont is already strong. In addition to UVM, our state colleges and independent colleges consistently rank among the top in the nation. Young Vermonters and students from across the country are receiving a world-class education right now in the Green Mountain State. These schools have a $3 billion impact annually on Vermont’s economy.Since my focus today is on UVM, let me say a few words specifically about the University and its unique role in our state. UVM is a state treasure and a huge asset. It is the state’s only research university, contributing $1 billion a year to our economy. It retains and graduates Vermont students at record rates, and attracts thousands of young from across the nation and the world to study and live here. Its research and knowledge creation is key to Vermont’s future. Nearly 30,000 UVM graduates live and work here, contributing every day to our state’s quality of life.Just take a look at UVM’s vision and mission and you will hope, like I do, that the University succeeds in fulfilling them for the benefit of its students, our state, and our nation.UVM’s vision is, and I quote, ‘To be among the nation’s premier small research universities, preeminent in our comprehensive commitment to liberal education, environment, health, and public service.’The university’s mission is ‘To create, evaluate, share, and apply knowledge and to prepare students to be accountable leaders who will bring to their work dedication to the global community, a grasp of complexity, effective problem-solving and communication skills, and an enduring commitment to learning and ethical conduct.’Look around Vermont right now, and you will find the spirit of this mission hard at work. This University produces one of the best trained workforces in the country. Some of you may have heard of UVM graduates Briar and Adam Alpert. Their father, a UVM faculty member, founded BioTek Instruments, a cutting-edge manufacturer of medical equipment right here in Vermont. Briar and Adam have since taken over the company, and as creative entrepreneurs, they have made BioTek one of the best places to work in the state and business has thrived.Similarly, Steve Arms is the founder, President and CEO of MicroStrain, a company which develops and manufactures miniature sensors. Andrew Meyer has been busy since he graduated from UVM, founding the Center for an Agricultural Economy and helping to usher in a new era of innovative, value-added agriculture in Vermont. Other Vermont business leaders produced by this University include Jan Blittersdorf, President and CEO of NRG Systems, David Blittersdorf, President and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, Janette Bombardier, head of IBM’s Essex Plant, and the Pizzagalli brothers, leaders of PC Construction, one of the nation´s largest employee-owned contractors. UVM graduate Rich Tarrant is CEO and founder, with his two brothers, Jerry and Brian ‘ also graduates of the university — of Internet software firm MyWebGrocer. The list is endless.Because the futures of UVM and the state of Vermont are inextricably linked, I believe it is both appropriate and timely to take a hard look at the relationship between the state and the university. Vermont has always had limited resources to fund higher education in general and UVM in particular ‘ a reality made more stark by the continuing recession and the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Irene.The limited state resources we have available must be invested in Vermont’s only research university in strategically focused ways that have the maximum return on investment for Vermont and Vermonters. We have debated how UVM is funded and governed, but not taken action in nearly 60 years. The time to do so is now, with a strong sense of creativity, common sense, and focus on what is good for the future of both the state and the university.Before I lay out a proposal to examine the important relationship between the state and UVM, let me offer a brief historical context.The University of Vermont became public in 1955. At that time, there was no Vermont State College System and no Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Since 1955, state funds for UVM have been spent in three basic ways: tuition offsets for Vermonters, support for the College of Medicine, and funding for Agricultural services. This year’s state appropriation was about $40 million, with an additional $1.8 million for capital expenditures. While these public dollars represent a small fraction of the combined revenues that support UVM’s $600 million plus operation, both UVM officials and I believe that it is very important that these funds be invested wisely and strategically to advance Vermonters job opportunities.I have made no secret of my concerns about some of the spending priorities UVM has made in recent years. Those concerns have been widely reported in the press, and I stand by those observations. I have said throughout some of these recent controversies, however, that my interest is not in criticizing the University for the sake of argument, but because I believe, working together, we can devise strategies for spending state dollars that produce better results for UVM, for our business community, and for the state.I believe these spending strategies should focus on a set of priorities that require making some hard long-term choices. These priorities include:â ¢ Preparing students for the jobs of the future by providing greater focus on the sciences, engineering, technology and mathematics.â ¢ Connecting the power of the research university and its educational programs to support and expand partnerships in the state’s business sector and economy.â ¢ Maintaining and innovating the essential infrastructure in agriculture that supports our economy and way of life, and fosters Vermont’s bright future as a quality food producer.â ¢ Supporting the transition to a health care system that contains costs, takes the burden off employers and strengthens health care delivery to keep Vermonters healthy.â ¢ Capitalizing on UVM’s leadership in environmental and complex systems ‘ systems that address one of my top priorities, the reality of our changing climate – by expanding its academic programs and offerings in climate change. I have long believed that the University can become a top national leader in this arena and am optimistic about the entrepreneurial opportunities in confronting climate change.â ¢ Preparing our students not only to get good jobs in Vermont when they graduate from UVM, but also for students to go out and create those good jobs as burgeoning entrepreneurs.â ¢ Collaborating with the Vermont State Colleges to ensure that our system of higher education is maximizing opportunities for students, limiting duplication, and increasing access, particularly for first generation college students.Since John Bramley became Interim President at UVM this summer, he and I have been engaged in a dialogue about these priorities and the relationship between the University and the state. While we may not agree on all issues regarding that relationship, I believe John and I share very similar views about the need to take a hard and realistic look at how we work together in the coming years and decades.Specifically, John and I agree that the current situation is not sustainable for the University or its students. We can do a better job of investing scarce state dollars in the disciplines and research that will be the economic engines of the next century. In my view, we are falling short of our goal of maximizing our return on state investment.A new strategy is needed, and today I am announcing a framework for developing that strategy.I have asked a group of eight highly skilled individuals with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, all of whom have deep ties with Vermont or the University of Vermont, to serve as an advisory group that develops ways to maximize the relationship between the University and the state.This group will be asked to examine a set of key issues related to that relationship, and provide recommendations to me and the incoming President of the University by July of next year. Their areas of focus will include, but not be limited to, the following areas:1. The differing roles of the University of Vermont and the Vermont State Colleges, and the implications and opportunities for program consolidation, reduction in duplication, and cost savings.2. Opportunities for public investment in high state priority programs and targeted scholarships at UVM with maximum return on investment, such as science, technology, engineering, and math.3. Directed scholarships in certain disciplines, incentives to stay in Vermont or return to Vermont.4. Other alternative, strategic approaches to focus and strengthen the relationship between UVM and Vermont for mutual benefit, including maximizing spires of excellence, innovation and job growth.The goal of this process is to engage in a strategic, data-driven dialogue that leads to specific, workable, and realistic outcomes.The group will meet regularly, both in person and virtually, and submit their recommendations to me and to the new UVM president taking office next summer. It will include the following individuals:â ¢ Nick Donofrio, chair. Nick is an innovator and entrepreneur and is the former Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology at IBM and former General Manager of IBM’s plant in Essex.â ¢ Deb Granquist. Deb is a former banker and retired attorney who runs a consulting company to support non-profits. She is active in philanthropy and civic affairs and chairs several local and state boards.â ¢ Bill Wachtel. Bill is a UVM grad, attorney and founding partner of Wachtel & Masyr in New York. He is also the founder of several progressive organizations such as ‘Why Tuesday?, a non-partisan organization to increase voter turnout.â ¢ Peggy Williams. Peggy is President Amerita of Ithaca College and also served as President of Lyndon State College. Another UVM graduate, she holds several leadership positions in national organizations and promotes volunteerism, sustainability, diversity, and civil rights.â ¢ Emerson Lynn. Emerson is the editor-co-publisher of The St. Albans Messenger and co-publisher of The Milton Independent, The Essex Reporter and The Colchester Sun.â ¢ Bill Gilbert. Bill has served as a Trustee of the University of Vermont and has also served Vermont in a variety of notable public positions including Secretary of Administration for the late Gov. Richard Snelling.â ¢ Alma Arteaga. Alma is a junior at UVM majoring in Economics and Environmental Policy and Development and is active on issues impacting UVM and its students.â ¢ John Bramley will also serve as an ex-oficio member of the group.I am confident that these eight outstanding leaders in their fields will produce a thoughtful, provocative, compelling set of recommendations that the state and the University can implement in a timely manner.Let me close by reiterating my strong belief that the partnership between the University of Vermont and the state of Vermont is one that will continue to strengthen in the years ahead. UVM is an essential part of the Vermont culture, economy, and identity and will remain a top priority of the state of Vermont for my administration and many administrations to come.It is with tremendous optimism that I propose this re-examination of the relationship between the state and the University. We have a great opportunity to strengthen an already vibrant relationship. Working together, we will seize it.- 30 –last_img read more

Nigerian Tennis Players Round up Training with Spanish Coach

first_imgWhile Serena is already assured of her place in the tournament which will feature about 80 players from 20 countries, Reya is an alternate player for Nigeria, having missed out of the qualifiers held in Lagos in April through injury while on preparation in London. Former junior national team invitees, Filippo Trombi, Lolade Holmes, Gideon and Olamide Aluko are the others that took part in the programme which include personal and group sessions.Velasco, who was also at the VGC Club, is a revered ITF-certified coach noted for the nurturing of talents in Spain through his Grip 2 Tennis Academy in Vinaros, Spain. He is billed to resume work with the Saudi Arabia Tennis Federation this weekend, where he will take charge of the Gulf nation’s junior tennis programme for the next one year.Having been in Nigeria for a similar programme two years ago, he submitted that Nigeria can produce tennis stars calling for attention of the game especially at the grassroots.“Its a good and bad news for Nigeria in tennis. The good news is that there are lots of potential. The country is having lots of talents. However, the bad news is there’s lack of information regarding the coaching aspect.“They are paying so much attention to the kids such that they are overworking them on court. The pattern they are being put through is perhaps the toughest of all,” he submitted.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Top Spanish tennis coach, Jose Velasco has rounded off his four-week coaching visit to Nigeria at the Lagos Country Club with a number of junior national players getting the latest techniques to step up their game.Prominent among the players are Serena Teluwo and Reya Holmes who are using the programme as part of build up to the ITF/CAT 12 and Under African Junior Championship scheduled for Casablanca, Morocco in September.last_img read more

NFL Week 12 upset picks: Underdogs with good odds to beat the spread

first_imgAs is often the case in these scenarios, it’s not that an underdog is ultra-attractive against the NFL odds, rather a combination of what an underdog offers as strengths and understanding how that plays into the potential weaknesses of the favorite.That is precisely the recipe for all three of our selections, so let’s have at it.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting advice at Sportsbook ReviewOakland Raiders vs. New York JetsSunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. ET (CBS) at MetLife StadiumRemember at the start of the season when the Jets were thought to have a shot at .500? Since becoming Miami’s first victim of 2019, that seems to be the wake-call Gang Green needed and they defeated fellow teams in their class in the Giants and Washington.Sam Darnold has caught up from the time he was out and he’s no longer seeing “ghosts” as his comfort level with the offense has increased immensely. The Flyboys run defense has been stout all year, but it’s gone next level in permitting just 51.3 yards a contest in last three outings and is now No. 1 in the league.Oakland won all three consecutive home games and is a legit playoff contender as we head into the last segment of the regular season. The Raiders are not beating themselves, which they have mostly done over the last 25 years, thanks to John Gruden. However, this is not a finished product and Oakland has still given up 25 points a game and has offensive droughts like a basketball team.Game 11 is where the pressure starts to mount for the Raiders and they are not used to it. The Jets, there is no pressure and with certain New Yorker’s back in love with their team and Oakland 1-9 ATS off a home win, the team in green is a treacherous foe.NFL pick: Jets +3 (-110)New York Giants vs. Chicago BearsSunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. ET (FOX) at Soldier FieldIn Chicago, Mitchell Trubisky has taken over for Jay Cutler and Al Capone as – Public Enemy No. 1. While Capone was a gangster and Cutler a bit of hipster, Trubisky reported, by the Bears, had a bad hip which prevented him from finishing the loss to the Rams.Injured or not, Chicago’s top pick from 2017 draft is playing bad football and the offense is less fun to watch than the SNL skit about Bears fans, who loved “Da Bears” and “Coach Dika” (silent ‘t’).This is why the New York Giants are garnering attention even if there rookie quarterback Daniel Jones is turning the ball over too frequently. The Bears’ defense is still very good, but if the Giants would stick with the running game and find more ways to get the pigskin in the hands of Saquon Barkley, they would enhance their chances of a win.Big Blue’s defense ranks only 27th in yards allowed, however, if they can prevent big plays and force shaky kicker Eddy Pineiro to keep making field goals, they’ll have a chance since the G-Men are 8-3 ATS as road underdogs.NFL pick: Giants +6.5 (-110)Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia EaglesSunday, Nov. 24, 1 p.m. ET (FOX) at Lincoln Financial FieldPhiladelphia played a game against New England that perfectly exemplified why they are 5-5 this season. The Eagles jumped to a quick 10-0 lead on the Patriots and were in a position to add on, but a turnover, followed by the offense going stone-cold, changed the game. The Philly defense left Tom Brady so depressed after the game you would have thought the Pats lost. Coach Doug Pederson’s team has turned into like a baseball pitcher who has great stuff and will have six or seven strong innings. But it’s always that one inning, where the concentration lapses and he gives up just enough runs for his team to avoid winning.That description fits the Eagles and Carson Wentz as they host 8-2 Seattle. If the Seahawks start playing defense as they did against San Francisco, the 49er’s one-game lead in the NFC West is far from safe and New Orleans, Green Bay and Minnesota will have to maintain or surpass their level of play.Wentz can be rattled, while Russell Wilson is unflappable. Wilson will exploit Philly’s secondary and utilize the power running game and the Seahawks will better 9-2 ATS record as an underdog.NFL pick: Seahawks +2 (-110) This is the last week of byes and that is good, as that will provide far more opportunities to uncover underdogs for NFL picks.With only two of our 14 listed games with spreads of a touchdown or higher, there should be ample “live dog” potential this week.last_img read more