Open Letter to UVM President Regarding Budget Cuts

President Suresh Garimella May 22, 2020 Office of the President

Dear President Garimella,
We appreciate your work to assure that University of Vermont remains the outstanding and respected institution that is the great pride of our community. Like many education institutions and employers both in the State of Vermont and across the nation, including the City of Burlington, we understand that UVM is faced with challenging decisions in response to COVID -19. As we face these challenges together, we believe we must keep in mind our core values as we endeavor to meet our missions.

As we expect revenue projections have been impacted by the crisis, we understand that the University must make adjustments to its budget in order to meet services essential to your mission of preparing students to be our next generation of accountable leaders to enhance our global community.

The financial integrity of the University is critical to our community. The community mantra throughout this crisis has been “We are all in this together” and we believe our process to balance our budgets need to reflect this spirit of cooperation and shared sacrifice. Our City’s guiding principles through this period of uncertainty include navigating this challenging time by treating City employees fairly.

We write to you today asking that the leadership of the University of Vermont approach these challenges by being transparent about your financial realities and we implore you to work collaboratively with your Unions and together, do your best to find a path forward that honors your collective commitment to your mission and vision for the University.

We strongly believe that all workers must be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness.

We urge you and the UVM leadership to respect the rights and needs of Union and non-Union employees in finding solutions that will also meet the academic and financial needs of the University.

Thank you for your consideration of our viewpoint and for your continued partnership on many issues that we face together.


Councilor Sarah Carpenter
Councilor Chip Mason
Councilor Karen Paul
Councilor Franklin Paulino
Councilor Joan Shannon