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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. To receive an occasional digest of this news please add your name to the monthly Collegiate Way mailing list.

University of Vermont Considers Residential Colleges

— The University of Vermont, my neighbor to the northwest along the shores of Lake Champlain, is considering a collegiate arrangement for some of its new residential facilities. UVM is relatively small as state universities go, and an accreditation report in 1998 suggested that “residential colleges, each with its own faculty house masters, deserve consideration because they fit well in concept with UVM’s culture” as a comparatively small campus.

Daniel Fogel, UVM’s new president who was just inaugurated this year, believes that there is an economic need to increase the student population somewhat, but that in order to improve the quality of student life at the same time, a decentralized residential college arrangement should be explored. In an interview with The View, the university’s official newspaper, President Fogel comments that with new campus common spaces the university hopes

to build a much greater sense of intimacy and at-homeness on the campus. We are looking ahead to creating a stronger and richer dimension in the residence halls around the idea of residential colleges, beginning as a pilot with an honors residential college in the fall of 2004 that should also create a sense of close, collegiate community among students.

I wish my neighbors to the north much success with this work—they have an opportunity to become national leaders in the public university arena if they begin the development of a complete residential college system at the University of Vermont.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2014