Fogel Makes First Visit to UVM

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(Host) Daniel Fogel returned to the University of Vermont Wednesday. It was Fogel’s first visit to the campus since he was named UVM’s new president.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Zind) Waiting to greet Fogel Wednesday morning were bowls of punch, a large white frosted cake that read Welcome to the University of Vermont and an enthusiastic group of about one hundred faculty and students. In his brief remarks, Fogel said he’s looking forward to working with them to improve the university:

(Fogel) “It is wonderful to be here. Thank you for that warm, warm welcome.” (Sound of applause.)

(Zind) Many stayed afterward to meet and talk with Fogel. Michael Gurdun is president of the Faculty Senate. Gurdun says he thinks Fogel will welcome suggestions from teachers more than some past presidents. And Gurden says Fogel shares some qualities with the man many consider UVM’s most successful recent president.

(Gurdun) “He reminds some of us of Lattie Coor. He has some of those personality attributes. A certain warmth and directness, an ability to connect with people.”

(Zind) Some of the students at the reception said they cut class to meet the new president. Janine White is a junior from Carmel, New York.

(White) “I haven’t really known any of the presidents, or the interim presidents even, and I think it would be important for the students to be able to talk them and meet them and at least be able to know what he looks like. Even so that you can say like ‘Oh, that’s the president of UVM’, you know?”

(Zind) Junior Charles Mark of Cincinatti, Ohio says he found Fogel very approachable and friendly. Mark says he made a suggestion to Fogel:

(Mark) “If you just have lunch one day a month or one day a week or something in Cook Commons with all the students just to informally be able to talk with the students. So he can just get the students’ opinions on things every once in a while.”

(Zind) A group of students met with candidate Fogel last week. Afterward, the Student Government Association gave the trustees a critical assessment of Fogel. Association President Bill Tickner says students didn’t think Fogel was responsive to their concerns. But Fogel called Tickner at home over the weekend and requested another meeting. Fogel spend almost four hours with students on Wednesday. Tickner was impressed:

(Tickner) “He has nothing to prove to us now. He’s the president. If he didn’t want to come to table with us, he doesn’t really need to. He showed us that he would.”

Tickner says after a long meeting and tour of the campus, student leaders are convinced Daniel Fogel is a president they can work with.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind on the UVM campus in Burlington.

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