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

Iceland has joined the game of attracting digital nomads

first_imgSo from now on all permanent employees in foreign companies can stay and work in Iceland for up to six months. By the way, so far the approval has lasted only 90 days. To obtain a long-term residence permit, a person must prove employment, income and health insurance. As we know, the introduction of visas for digital nomads is also expected in Croatia, which would allow people outside the EU to stay for up to a year. Currently, only six countries have visas for digital nomads: Barbados, Bermuda, Anguilla, Estonia, Georgia and, more recently, Dubai (UAE). “Rapid technological development requires us to be open and flexible to the new opportunities available to us as more and more employers encourage teleworking. The regulatory framework must take this into account. ”, concluded Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Justice. Ms Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister of Tourism, Innovation and Industry: “We need to shape our export industry, based on ingenuity and making it easier for foreign nationals to work from Iceland. We add value and knowledge in Iceland that support our innovation environment”, Said Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister of Tourism, Innovation and Industry. Interestingly, the Minister and the Ministry of Innovation. Under this measure, those foreign nationals who are exempt from the visa application will be allowed to apply for a long-term visa in Iceland and bring their families without the need to relocate their legal residence to the country or obtain Icelandic ID numbers. When we talk about digital nomads, the biggest focus to attract digital nomads is the focus on entrepreneurs from Canada, America, Australia and the UK. “We believe that these individuals will bring with them valuable experience and knowledge that will benefit Iceland on its path to economic recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. ” Following the COVID-19 epidemic, many companies around the world have made significant changes in the way they work and are now increasingly allowing and encouraging their workers to work remotely. The result is that in many cases employees can choose to work as “digital nomads” i.e. from home without which state they are in. With the new measures, Iceland has enabled foreign nationals outside the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) to stay in Iceland for up to six months and work remotely for foreign companies. Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, pointed out that on the tax side they want to ensure that nothing prevents the possibility of temporary work for workers working in other countries, in order to work in Iceland from now on. Although digital nomads are not particularly emphasized in the narrative, they are in fact the same thing. The new law allows foreign workers to work in Iceland without the need for a visa for up to six months, and as the Icelandic government points out, it will continue to research to find ways to extend the time period, but for now the regulations have been changed to accommodate the six-month period.last_img read more

Trojans open tournament against Rider

first_imgAs the opening days of the 2010-2011 season are upon the USC basketball team (2-0, 0-0), gauging an upcoming opponent can often prove to be an arduous task.Focused · Senior forward Alex Stepheson has played the role of the big man this season for the Trojans alongside junior forward Nikola Vucevic. USC is currently 2-0. – Brandon Hui | Daily Trojan From watching tape, to scouting tendencies and personnel, evaluating foes from obscure conferences on short notice — like tonight’s opponent Rider University (1-1,0-0) from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference — is difficult to say the least.But on the heels of their impressive 2-0 start — only the second time in the past decade the team has raced out to two straight victories — the Trojans know that the biggest adjustments are made internally rather than externally.Going into its 7:30 p.m. tussle at the Galen Center against the visiting Broncs, the team is riding high behind true freshman guard Maurice Jones’ early season play including a career-high 29 points against Santa Clara on Monday.Looking inside, junior forward Nikola Vucevic has picked up rather nicely from his breakout season last year. The team’s lone member of the John Wooden Preseason Top 50 List has posted back-to-back double-double performances (19 points and 14 rebounds against UC Irvine and a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds against Santa Clara).Largely overlooked by the team’s newfound offensive firepower through their first 80 minutes is the status of 6-foot-10 senior center Alex Stepheson. The former University of North Carolina transfer received word hours before Monday’s tipoff that he had fractured his hand in USC’s home opener against UC Irvine.Although Stepheson was able to suit up against Santa Clara, while also managing to play all 40 minutes in a cumbersome black cast, the big man appeared to be hindered offensively by the fracture most of the night, scoring only six points.Heading into tonight’s nonconference clash, it appears the defensive-savvy center will be ready to go against Tommy Dempsey’s squad from Lawrenceville, N.J.“We know they are a tough team, and it’s going to be a challenge,” Stepheson said.Dempsey’s deep MAAC squad comes to town after defeating Lafayette 80-73 Saturday afternoon, thanks in large part to the experienced play off its bench, who outscored the Leopards’ bench 37-7.Although USC’s point guard Maurice Jones has looked anything but gun shy in his first two collegiate games, Wednesday night will prove to be his first big on-court test.The Broncs’ leader and most-experienced player is guard Justin Robinson, who comes in averaging 15 points and 5.5 assists per game.Robinson, a native of London, is surrounded by an adequate supporting cast led by three talented freshmen — Danny Stewart, Tommy Pereira and Anthony Myles.While second-year USC coach Kevin O’Neill has no intention of overlooking tonight’s opponent, there was no need to rummage through video and preseason scouting reports to find Wednesday’s gaping disparity: size.On paper, Vucevic and Stepheson  look as if they will encounter little trouble on the boards during their first game of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.Rider will take to the court tonight, boasting an average team height of 6-foot-4. In addition, the Broncos have only one center traveling with the team, 6-foot-10 sophomore Dera Nd-Ezuma, who through two games has logged a total of seven minutes of action.But as the Trojans head into this early three-game tournament, the message in the locker room deviates far from underestimating their little known opponents.“This is a great tournament, big-time,” Stepheson said. “It’s simple: We want to win it.”Following Wednesday night’s contest, O’Neill and company will head on their first mini-road trip of the season to the site of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.USC will face Bradley on Friday afternoon, followed by a turnaround game against New Mexico State to conclude the tournament on Sunday.last_img read more