January 29, 2016

Sullivan Testifies Before House Education Committee

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Montpelier (Jan 27) President of the University of Vermont, Tom Sullivan, testified this morning before the House Committee of Education urging the committee to consider an increase in state funding for the University. President Sullivan heavily emphasized the importance of the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) project that is currently underway, arguing that this improved program will attract more Vermont students that can contribute to the future of Vermont. This new facility will also improve the University’s already strong research programs, which has a direct relationship with Vermont. President Sullivan used the opiate addiction research being done at UVM as an example of how this research is currently aiding the state in figuring out how to fix the opiate abuse that is currently plaguing the state.

 

The committee members displayed a clear concern with the number of students from Vermont that are able to take advantage of UVM, and the number of students that stay in Vermont after graduation. There are currently 4,200 students from Vermont enrolled in UVM, 43% of which get free tuition. President Sullivan emphasized that this high number of Vermont students with free tuition demonstrates the University’s ability to make college affordable for low income Vermonters, thus helping increase the number of Vermont students able to attend college.
68% of Vermont students stay in the state after graduation, while 44% of out of state students stay. These students are actively contributing to Vermont’s economic and job development, helping drive the state economy. President Sullivan argued that these numbers go to show that “An investment in education is an investment in Vermont’s future.” With an increase in investment in UVM from the state of Vermont, President Sullivan believes that it could bend the future cost curb, lowering the future social and medical costs in Vermont. The committee will have a lot to think about relating to President Sullivan’s remarks, and will hopefully take his request for an increase in state appropriations into serious consideration.

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