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Burlington College President Addresses Vermont Women in Higher Education at Leadership Dinner
The Vermont Women in Higher Education’s Fall Leadership Dinner took place this year on October 4th at the Middlebury Inn. This annual event celebrates the achievements of women working in higher education statewide. This year’s keynote speaker was Burlington College President, Christine Plunkett.
“I did not set out to become a college president,” Plunkett said in her speech. “As I worked my way through graduate school, corporate employment, self-employment, apple farming, and positions in educational administration, I was not following a prescribed path to a particular end.”
Plunkett went on to detail what she’s learned are the three most important ingredients for a successful career – finding the right fit, the necessity of fun at work, and having the drive to “get you through the hard spots and focus on the road ahead.”
Plunkett was named the fifth president of Burlington College in June 2012 after serving as the College’s Vice President of Administration and Finance for five years. She has held administrative positions in secondary and higher education for over thirteen years. She is credited with significant growth in the college’s unique academic programs in Cuba over the past year. Her recent tuition policies – such as a 25% discount on summer tuition, frozen tuition for the 2012-13 academic year, and four-year tuition guarantee for entering full time students – have been recognized nationally as a creative approach to addressing college affordability concerns of students and parents.
“Just yesterday our students were asked, what are the non-negotiables about Burlington College? What are the key features you want the college to hold onto forever?” Plunkett said. “The top items on their list were the small classes, the close relationships with faculty, and the lively classroom discussions. These are the educational values I have come to subscribe to and advocate, and these are the reasons for my commitment to Burlington College.”
Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE) is an organization affiliated with the Office of Women in Higher Education at the American Council on Education. VWHE works to foster connections among women in various sectors of higher education, promote women’s leadership, and encourage and support women leaders of diverse backgrounds.
The 2012 VWHE award winners were Victoria Angis of Castleton State College, for the Sister Elizabeth Candon Distinguished Service Award; Britten Chase of UVM, for the Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award; and Lori Stevens of UVM, for the Jackie M. Gribbons Leadership Award.