VSCS Board announces Chancellor Sophie Zdatny will be leaving at end of year

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Vermont Business Magazine The Board of Trustees of the Vermont State Colleges System announced today that Chancellor Sophie Zdatny will be stepping down from her position at the end of the year.

Chancellor Zdatny has been with the system for nine years, initially as Associate General Counsel for three years, then General Counsel for three years before she was named Chancellor in April 2020, taking over from Jeb Spaulding in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She will continue serving through the end of December 2023 and the board anticipates announcing a hiring process for the next leader in the coming weeks.

Sophie Zdatny

Board Chair Lynn Dickinson issued the following statement on Chancellor Zdatny’s transition:

“Chancellor Zdatny has been an extraordinary leader for our system and its institutions through an incredibly challenging time. For more than three years she has worked tirelessly to stabilize the system.  She led the first phase of the system’s transformation with purpose and clarity while being a steady guide through the challenges of the pandemic. It is bittersweet to accept her resignation, but I speak for all trustees in wishing her well. 

Three years ago, the system was in a very challenging position. Under Zdatny’s leadership, the system first stabilized, then developed and implemented a strategic plan for the transformation of the colleges. 

This past July, the newly accredited and unified Vermont State University launched and, just weeks ago, welcomed its inaugural class of more than 1,400 students – meeting its enrollment targets for first year and returning students. This is just one part of transformation aimed at securing a sustainable future the Vermont State College System. 

Chancellor Zdatny worked closely with the legislature and Governor Scott to increase the Vermont State Colleges system’s annual state funding by 57% and to secure state financial support for transformation, student scholarships, workforce initiatives, and campus capital funding. With her strategic leadership, the system has received over 300 million dollars of state support since the pandemic and economic crisis of 2020.”

Chancellor Sophie Zdatny added, “I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve undertaken together to stabilize the Vermont State Colleges and to set it on the path of transformation to ensure public higher education remains accessible and affordable in Vermont’s rural communities for generations to come. I am grateful to the entire Vermont State Colleges team for their passionate work over the last three-and-a-half years and I appreciate the faculty and students who make the Vermont State Colleges such a rewarding place to work and get educated. I look forward to working with the new leadership on a smooth transition to ensure the next phase of transformation is successful.”

Chair Dickinson further noted, “We will be working over the next few months to identify a leader for the next phase of transformation. That person will build on Chancellor Zdatny’s efforts to grow the systems’ value in Vermont and beyond and to continue transforming and synchronizing the Community College of Vermont and Vermont State University.”

For the benefit of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges system provides affordable, high quality, student-centered, and accessible education, fully integrating professional, liberal, and career study, consistent with student aspirations and regional and state needs. 

The Vermont State Colleges system includes Community College of Vermont (CCV) and Vermont State University (VTSU). Learn more about the Vermont State Colleges system at www.vsc.edu.

Source: 9.18.2023. MONTPELIER, VT — Office of the Chancellor | Vermont State Colleges www.vsc.edu