An open letter to State Governors & Legislatures

Hold UVM to Vermont's Values, #ChopFromTheTopUVM

49 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

Thank you so much for all your hard work during this difficult time. As you may know, the UVM administration is taking highly regressive austerity measures. UVM President Garimella has requested $25M in relief funds from the state. As a public land grant institution it is right that the state should support UVM, but only if it upholds Vermont’s values. The onus is on you to ensure that the state holds UVM to the same standards to which it holds itself. The UVM administration is sitting on massive resources in its endowment and is lavish in executive pay. President Garimella alone nets far more than half a million dollars a year. Yet the UVM Administration refuses to touch the endowment or scale back executive pay, instead asking you for much-needed COVID-19 relief funds, while at the same time forcing its most vulnerable educators onto tax-payer funded unemployment benefits and other programs. Before granting much-needed relief funds please: Require UVM to restore cuts made without union engagement, including 25% pay cuts on almost 100 faculty members. The UVM Administration needs to work collaboratively with their union on the university response, and any cuts. Require UVM be fully transparent on financials. The UVM administration refuses to share budgets, projections, or even a target for savings with employees and unions to justify their actions. Protect Vermont values by requiring the UVM administration to make progressive cuts from the highly paid executives before cutting support staff and educators, as UW-Madison, Duke, and many other universities have done. The UVM administration should be leveraging its resources to protect its employees and the education they provide Vermonters. Ask your House colleagues on the UVM Board of Trustees - Representatives Bartholomew, Christie, Donovan, Juskiewicz, McCormack, Ode, Smith, and Young - to compel President Garimella to serve our state in the way originally intended. They serve on the UVM Board of Trustees as your stewards of the University and its commitment to Vermont values. As you may know, on May 21st the Senate Higher Education Committee held hearings to discuss this issue. Please learn more about the facts they discussed here: Thank you for supporting Vermont education!

First sent on May 26, 2020 by Joanna

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