Roll Call! Senate Adds Faculty & Student Trustees to VT State College Board (21-8), 2022


(to read amended bill, click here).

in the State Senate
on April 29, 2022, by a vote of

Purpose: The purpose of the underlying bill was to strengthen Vermont State Colleges and the University of Vermont by broadening the experience of their respective boards of trustees.

Sections 7-9 of H.456 grows the Vermont State Colleges’ Board of Trustees, increasing from 25 members to 27. (The Senate also approved Sections 10 & 11 of H.456 by a 21-8 vote, similarly growing the size of UVM’s Board of Trustees from 15 members to 17). 1 of those new members would be a “faculty or staff employed by the Vermont State Colleges Corporation and elected by the faculty and staff to a four-year term” while the other would be a student (bringing the total to 2 students), serving a one-year term.

Those voting YES believe having a faculty member to the Board offers a unique perspective of ‘what’s going on on campus’ that needs to be heard in Board deliberations. 21% of US colleges and universities have faculty representation, suggesting this Board of Trustees would not be unique.

Those voting NO believe that any board of trustees must have independence from those it is acting in the fiduciary interest of. There is a conflict of interest in having a faculty of staff member voting on measures that could impact them personally. They note that if 21% of US colleges have faculty on their boards, an overwhelming majority of 79% chose not to. At a time of serious change for Vermont State College, the Board needs direction, not mandates for changing its governance board.

As Recorded in the Senate Journal, Friday, April 29, 2022: “Thereupon, the question, Shall the Senate propose to the House to amend the bill as proposed in Secs. 7, 8 and 9 were collectively agreed to on a roll call, Yeas 21, Nays 8.” (Read the Journal, p.  1039 – 1046)

Watch the floor debate on YouTube.

These roll call reports are designed to help citizens understand how their elected representatives vote on key issues. The bills may or may not eventually become law. Click on the link to the bill page at the top of this post for an up to date status on the bill.

How They Voted

Becca Balint (D-Windham) – YES
Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) – YES
Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) – NO
Christopher Bray (D-Addison) – YES
Randy Brock (R-Franklin) – NO
Brian Campion (D-Bennington) – NO
Thomas Chittenden (D-Chittenden) – YES
Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) – YES
Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) – YES
Ann Cummings (D-Washington) – YES
Ruth Hardy (D-Addison) – YES
Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland) – YES
Russ Ingalls (R-Essex-Orleans) – NO
M. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) – YES
Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden) – NO
Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) – YES
Richard Mazza (D-Chittenden-Grand Isle) – NO
Richard McCormack (D-Windsor) – YES
Alice Nitka (D-Windsor District) – YES
Corey Parent (R-Franklin) – NO
Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden) – YES
Andrew Perchlik (D-Washington) – YES
Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) – YES
Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden) – YES
Richard Sears (D-Bennington) – YES
Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) – YES
Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) – YES
Joshua Terenzini (R-Rutland) – ABSENT
Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) – YES
Jeanette White (D-Windham) – NO

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