President Daniel Mark Fogel announced today that he is resigning from the University of Vermont presidency, effective July 31. Trustee Chairman Robert Cioffi told Vermont Business Magazine that he expects the Trustees to name an interim president in about a week. He would not speculate whether it would be a prominent local leader, which has been the case in the last two interim presidents ‘ former Governor Tom Salmon and businessman Ed Colodny.
Cioffi said Fogel came to him about a week ago to tell him that resigning would be best for him and the university as he attends to personal family matters. Cioffi said the two had been in contact over the last few months to discuss Fogel’s future with the university.
Last April it came to light that Fogel’s wife was found to be having a personal relationship with a member of the UVM development staff. The university found that there were no laws university policies broken, but the situation became a major news story. The university is still reviewing the situation and that review should be completed by mid-August. All this came to light after Fogel announced that he would step down in 2012 as president after 10 years. Fogel’s plan then was to take some time off and come back to the university as a tenured professor to teach literature.
Cioffi said the agreement is still that Fogel will return as a tenured professor in 2013 after taking the next 17 months off. He said the search for a permanent president is already under way and he anticipates interviews to begin in January. Cioffi said, as with Fogel 10 years ago, the trustees will look nationally and even internationally to find a leader who will be a worthy successor to Fogel.
Fogel is widely credited with turning the university around, not only financially but academically. Enrollment has gone up, as has the quality of student, Cioffi said. He said none of the recent events will tarnish the profound legacy Fogel is leaving. That legacy, he said, not only includes the enrollment quality and the expansion of the physical plant, such as the Davis Center, but perhaps most importantly is represented by the UVM Honors College.
Fogel was not available to the press. Cioffi said he might be in the coming days. Below is a statement Fogel sent to the UVM community and posted on its Web site. Pictured are Fogel (top) and Cioffi.
"July 20, 2011
To: All Members of the University of Vermont Community
After much soul-searching, I have decided to tender my resignation from the presidency of UVM effective July 31. I am doing so for the good of this wonderful University and for deeply personal reasons. Suffice it to say that I care greatly about my wife and our marriage, and it has become increasingly clear to me that, in the face of difficult challenges, I cannot serve the University to the best of my ability while obeying the imperative need I feel today to devote significant time and my very best energies to taking care of her and myself and, collaterally, to preparing to resume my work as a teacher and scholar, right here at UVM, in what my father always told me never to forget is the University’s highest rank, the rank of Professor. That for me will be a great joy, which I consecrate to his memory.
One can’t do a job like the one I have been in for the last nine years without having some regrets. And yet on balance, looking back over the course of the richly packed and intense years since 2002, there is no question in my mind that the successes we have had as a University’and the satisfaction I take in those successes, not to mention the gratitude I feel for the opportunity I’ve had to serve this distinctive University and the people of Vermont’far outweigh my regrets about things I wish I had done better and passages in the life of the institution I wish had unfolded differently.
So much, after all, has gone exceedingly well. In a University, as in a family, no one stands alone. We are all interdependent, and our accomplishments are without question collective ones. I will say again, one more time, how profoundly grateful I am to all members of the UVM family’to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends’for helping UVM to advance in so many ways during my tenure as president: among others, the reduction of the deferred maintenance backlog; the transformation of the physical campus with land acquisitions and new facilities for teaching, re-search, and student life; the expansion of the undergraduate, graduate, and medical student bodies; the institution of new programs, ranging from the Honors College and the Vermont Integrated Curriculum to the Transdisciplinary Research Initiative and the just-approved program of General Education; the rise in the academic caliber and the ethnic and racial diversity of the student body, in the creative and scholarly output of the faculty, in external funding, and in faculty salaries that rose from near rock-bottom to a market-competitive mid-range; the successful campaign for the University of Vermont, which ended in 2007, and, since that time, the rising philanthropic trend, against strong economic headwinds, with record private gifts to UVM in 2011and the auspicious launch this year of the UVM Foundation; the many ways in which new programs such as the Burak Distinguished Lecture Series and the James Marsh Professors-at-Large Program have energized the intellectual life of the campus; the rising competitiveness of UVM Athletics, capped by the just-announced seventh straight America East Academic Cup garnered by UVM’s varsity athletes; and above all the rise in the academic quality of UVM, which has in turn lifted UVM in the hearts, minds, and esteem of the people of Vermont and raised the University’s standing in the academy nationally. We set out to boost the competitive metabolism of UVM, and together we have. Had we not, we would not be well positioned, as we are today, to continue rising above the economic storms that began four years ago, and to recruit a great new president to lead the next phase of UVM’s strong advance.
I want to express special gratitude to the colleagues with whom I have worked most closely’to my three provosts, John Bramley, John Hughes, and Jane Knodell; to the leadership of UVM’s dedicated faculty, including Faculty Senate Presidents Julie Roberts, Jim Burgmeier, Justin Joffe, and Michael Gurdon and Vice-Presidents Susan Crockenberg and Judy Cohen; to several gen-erations of Staff Council and student leaders; to the deans; to each of the vice presidents and their teams, and especially to four on whose professionalism, expertise, and counsel I have relied through this whole long presidential run: Fran Bazluke, Gary Derr, Tom Gustafson, and Karen Meyer; and to all of our key support staff, with special thanks to my professional executive assistant Michelle Atherton. My thanks and admiration go to the Board of Trustees, collectively and individually, for sustained support and guidance, no less through times of challenge than through so many shared tri-umphs over the course of these nine years, and most of all to my Board chairs, Bruce Lisman, Dean Maglaris, Jim Pizzagalli, Carl Lisman, Ian Boyce, and Rob Cioffi. I am tremendously proud of UVM and of all we have accomplished together, and I look forward to assisting the University in its continuing advance. I have been one lucky guy to have had this opportunity of a lifetime, nine years of service as the President of the University of the Green Mountains! Thank you, UVM; and thank you, Vermont.
Daniel Mark Fogel"