Burlington College Names New Interim President | Off Message

Burlington College Names New Interim President


  • Courtesy: Burlington College
  • Carol Moore
Lyndon State College's former president, Carol Moore, has been chosen to serve as Burlington College's next interim president.  

Burlington College's previous leader, Christine Plunkett, resigned unexpectedly in late July when students surrounded her car demanding that she step down.  Extreme financial pressures at the college exacerbated her relationships with faculty, staff and the student body.  

Moore is replacing Mike Smith, who agreed to lead the college temporarily in September along with Jane Knodell and David Coates, who were advising him on academic and financial decisions. 

Moore has 40 years of experience in education, according to press release issued by the college. She was a professor and an academic dean before becoming Lyndon's president. In 2011, she left after 13 years as president, citing personal reasons. Prior to that, she served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Mercy College in New York City.

During Smith's brief tenure at Burlington College, he signed a memorandum of understanding with Eric Farrell, agreeing to sell 25 acres of the school's 32-acre campus to the local developer, who plans to build a number of housing units on the land. The deal is expected to be finalized in January unless a conservation group can beat Farrell's offer. 

Burlington College, which has been struggling to make payroll, is currently on probation with the regional accreditation body due to its tenuous financial situation. The land deal would reduce the college's debt from $11.4 million to $4 million, according to Smith.  

At Lyndon, Moore was credited with increasing enrollment and launching the school's first major capital campaign. Smith has said that Burlington College desperately needs to attract additional students and donors in order to survive. 

In an interview Friday, Moore said she's accustomed to working with ailing schools. "For reasons that I don’t necessarily understand, I’ve been at five different colleges — Burlington College is the sixth. Four of those five were in financial trouble and had other challenges as well, so I guess I’ve developed some skills and experience over that time."

Moore, who will receive a $125,000 salary but won't have benefits, is taking over immediately, although Smith will continue to oversee some of the finances for the next several weeks. She plans to serve for roughly a year and a half and is not interested in seeking the position permanently. "I feel I am experienced at this sort of thing and therefore have the confidence to say Burlington College can certainly celebrate its 50th anniversary in the not-too-distant future," Moore said.